April 6 Bond Issue information
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the purpose of the proposed Bond Issue?
Over the past year with the help of a steering committee and a professional team, the district has prepared a Facilities Plan identifying the most pressing needs. In order to fund these improvements, the district has proposed a Bond Issue for the April election. The Purpose of the Bond Issue is to:
· Renovate and upgrade existing facilities
· Address safety and security needs
· Provide and enhance space for various student programs
· Address deferred maintenance throughout the district
· Increase the efficiency level of our current utility usage
· See district website for a more detailed description.
2. What are the safety and security issues throughout the district?
The safety and security needs that have been identified throughout the district are security cameras, relocation of administrative offices for enhanced line of sight to the main entryway, replacement of locks, doors, and hardware, ADA compliance, off street parent pick up, and upgrades to fire protection devices.
3. What programs will be enhanced by the Bond Issue?
There will be many programs that will benefit from the proposed Bond Issue. These include renovation to library facilities, addition of classrooms, an auditorium addition to the high school for fine arts, theatre, concerts, and assemblies, and the completion of an events stadium with the necessary additions to accommodate football, track, soccer, marching band, and other activities. It also includes various renovations and upgrades to existing classrooms for academic enhancements.
4. What are the potential savings to operating expenditures through the Bond Issue?
In working with Ameren and our professional team, it has been determined the district could potentially save more than 30 percent on utilities alone. Additional savings to the operating fund would be realized by addressing deferred maintenance and replacing outdated and obsolete mechanical and electrical controls and equipment in need of immediate replacement.
5. Can the Bond Issue be used for salaries or other operating expenses?
The Debt Service fund is totally separate from operating funds. The revenue generated from the Debt Service fund can only be used to pay off debt. By law, the funds generated from the sale of bonds can only be used for the expenditures identified in the bond proposal.
6. Will my taxes increase?
The proposed Bond Issue will NOT increase the tax rate of the voters of Cape Girardeau. Essentially, the district is refinancing the existing debt, issuing additional debt, and extending the debt over a longer period of time. The proposed bond amount is $40 million dollars which is well within our total bonding capacity without a tax rate increase.
7. When will construction start if the bond issue passes?
Construction of some items could begin as early as summer of 2010 with all projects being completed sometime in the fall of 2012. It is estimated that 350-400 jobs will be created during construction.
8. Would our taxes go down if the Bond Issue fails?
The tax rate would not go down as a result of the failure of the Bond Issue. The tax rate in the Debt Service fund can only be used to pay off expenditures related to debt. Our current debt is not scheduled to be paid off until 2020. The current debt service levy would continue to be used to make debt payments.
9. Why aren’t we renovating Franklin?
At first, we proposed renovating Franklin Elementary. After consulting with our professional team, it became apparent that it was not financially or operationally reasonable to renovate the building. The cost of renovating Franklin was almost $2 million over the cost of a new facility. The additional renovation costs were largely due to seismic standards, meeting ADA standards, and the difficulty of replacing mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems. We are committed to staying at the current site, building a facility which is architecturally compatible with the area, and maintaining the neighborhood school concept.
10. How can the district justify completing the events stadium?
The events stadium already has a football field, goal post, track surface and scoreboard. The proposal will provide bleachers and concession and restroom facilities to make the stadium more usable. The stadium will be directly utilized by hundreds of students. It would also be used for multiple purposes including football, band competitions, and track. In addition, we would reduce expenses by eliminating facility rental and transportation fees and receive concession stand revenues.
11. How can the district justify an auditorium?
The auditorium would allow us to enhance our performing arts curriculum. It would provide a facility for performances by choir, band, orchestra, theatrical productions, speech and debate, assemblies, guest speakers, award presentations, and community activities all at the high school location.
12. Why do we need classroom space at the High School?
The high school has numerous teachers on carts which mean that they have to travel from classroom to classroom. With no permanent home for their classes and always moving from room to room, students have less access to teachers for additional help. By having their own classroom, teachers will be more accessible to students.
13. How can the district consider issuing bonds at the same time the operating budget is getting cut?
The district is facing difficult times with regard to operating funds. We have increased costs for things like health care and retirement and at the same time will probably see decreased funding from the State. As a result, we cannot continue to use operating funds to pay for facility improvements and deferred maintenance needs. The ability to issue bonds without increasing the tax rate provides an opportunity to meet the district’s immediate facility needs and not place an additional burden on our community. Revenues generated from the debt service tax rate can only be used to pay for the retirement of bonds. In addition, the revenue from the sale of bonds can only be used for capital expenditures identified in the proposal.
*** For more information contact:
Dr. Jim Welker Mr. Neil Glass
Superintendent Director of Administrative Services
Cape Public Schools Cape Public Schools