Brighton School Board Postpones Decision on Bond Issue
May 30, 2018
The Brighton Board of Education Monday night was expected to decide whether to go to the voters in November with a major bond issue, but ended up tabling the item.
Most Brighton Area Schools' board members feel a bond issue is necessary to take care of items that were left out of the $88.5 million bond issue passed by voters six years ago. The reason the items were removed was the fear of sticker shock on the part of voters. Superintendent Greg Grey says the reason a board decision on whether to proceed with a bond issue was postponed Monday night was because two members were absent: President Andy Burchfield and Trustee Alicia Reid.
Gray says the board will have to make a decision on whether to go to the voters with a bond issue by the next meeting if members want to get the proposal on the November general election ballot. Otherwise, it would have to wait until next year. If the board votes on June 11th in favor of putting the issue on the ballot, and it passes, the revenue would go for such items as new boilers, parking lot repaving, and other infrastructure items.
Gray says that unfortunately, by law, bond issue revenues can’t be used for maintenance. As a result, the board would have to either go for a sinking fund proposal or a bond issue. And he says that since only the amount the millage of a sinking fund would raise each year would be available, it would not be enough for large infrastructure projects in any single year. Conversely, all of the money from a bond issue would be immediately available, allowing for big ticket items such as replacing old, maintenance-prone boilers at several schools.
The board hasn’t settled on a price tag, and the bond issue could end up being somewhere between 45 and 65 million dollars. One project that would involve actual construction would be a $5 million STEAM Center at the high school. Roof replacement and repaving several school parking lots would also be accomplished with passage. Gray stresses that the bond issue would not increase the school millage, and the bond would have a 22-or-23-year payoff instead of the usual 30 years. (TT)