KIDS COMMITTEE SCHEDULES
Voters in Kingman-Norwich USD 331 will go to the polls on May 7th to decide if now is right time to make needed capital improvements to schools in Kingman and Norwich. Voters will be asked to consider two questions for improvements. One in the amount of $19.075 million and a second in the amount of $3.96 million.
The District has formed a volunteer K.I.D.S. Committee (Keep Improving District Schools) to develop and share information about the District’s challenges, the proposed bond issue solutions, and the cost and effect on taxpayers. The goal of the KIDS Committee is that every patron and voter in USD 331 has adequate information to make an informed decision about the bond questions.
The KIDS Committee has scheduled two public informational meetings as follows:
Wednesday, April 17th 6:30 PM Kingman High School Cafeteria
Wednesday, April 24th 6:00 PM Norwich Cafeteria
The informational meetings are planned for an hour and refreshments will be served.
The Board of Education and Facility Steering Committees have been meeting and considering facility needs for nearly 5 years. They looked at needs and options costing as much as $36 million. As that amount of debt was determined to not be affordable, they prioritized the greatest needs and reduced the cost to no more than $24 million.
The Board at a recent meeting went a step further. They want to give voters choices as to how much and what projects to address at this current time. Proposition No. 1 would construct improvements at all 3 attendance centers to address safety and security concerns, replace roofs and HVAC systems, and remodel certain spaces. The plan is also to relocate the 7th and 8th grades to the high school building and demolish this space at the Kingman Elementary/Middle School for operational efficiencies.
Proposition No. 2 would remodel classrooms and support spaces at the Kingman Elementary School and make improvements and acquire needed new playground equipment at Norwich School.
Reduced space to heat, cool, maintain and insure as well as new more efficient mechanical systems are estimated to result in operating savings of approximately $300,000 per year.
The District feels that now is an advantageous time to consider the needed improvements and the bond issue to finance such. Bond Interest rates, estimated at 3.75%, are still low making the cost of repayment more affordable than in the past and USD 331 is currently eligible for additional state aid at a 10% sharing ratio to help pay bond debt service. The estimated benefit of the state aid is $3,450,000 (both questions). These are tax monies collected state wide and redistributed to school districts that have approved a bond issue by vote.
USD 331 is also making the last payment on a bond in April that has been averaging a mill rate of 10.37 mills. The estimated new rate of the Proposition No. 1 bonds is 15.67 mills—a net increase of 5.30 mills above the old bond levy. Proposition No. 2 approval would require an added mill rate of 3.29 mills.
Both Proposition improvements are needed; however, as mentioned earlier, the Board wants to give voters a choice rather than all or nothing. As the improvements in Proposition No. 1 are considered the highest priority need, the Board is on record as stating that if Proposition No. 1 is not approved, no bonds will be issued or projects accomplished regardless of the vote on Proposition No. 2. The choices are then: (1) Proposition No. 1 alone; (2) Propositions No. 1 and 2 combined; or (3) None.
Anyone wishing to become involved with the KIDS Committee is encouraged to contact the District offices at 532-3134.
For more bond issue information, access the USD 331 web site: www.knusd331.com