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School board continues bond issue discussion

The Farmington Board of Education took a look at the numbers for a bond issue and discussed its tax rate at Tuesday’s work session.

Larry Hart and Loren Seavers, of L.J. Hart and associates, were present at the session to provide specifics.

Hart said one thing to clear up about the levy is it would be extended, but not increased. “It’s a ‘no tax increase.’ You are not increasing, you are just extending it out,” he said.

The last two years the Farmington School District has had a 90-cent tax levy. Hart recommended keeping the 90-cent tax levy for the 2013-14 school year.

Board Vice-President Howard Hoehn said it’s almost scary when he looks at their assessed valuation now to 10 years from now and the numbers grow $150 million.

Hart said the numbers are what they predict the district to be 10 years from now.

Seavers said they are projecting the district could seek a $35 million dollar bond issue on the April 8 ballot without increasing the 90-cent levy.

“This is just a prediction,” Hart said.

Superintendent Matthew Ruble said if the board decides to ask for a bond issue on the April 8 ballot, the exact amount requested would depend on the needs of the district.

Ruble added there are some larger classes coming into the district as the school year begins. The district also should do a needs assessment to identify the district’s must-have list.

“This is just the beginning of discussions on a bond issue,” Ruble said.

Board Member Kerry Noble asked about repairs on some buildings.

Hart said the district has done a good job keeping up with repairs over the years. Some other places in the state haven’t done as good a job keeping up with their construction issues.

Business Services Director Don Eaton said there is a constant need to keep up and, with the 2006 bond issue, things came up. “You have to make decisions based on needs,” he added.

Hart said the bottom line is the district is in good shape going forward. “It helps if the board, staff and community is all unified in what you want to do,” he said.

Eaton said this is a continuation of a long-term plan.

“We are updating plans from last year and, as Mr. Hart said, the district is in good shape,” Eaton said.

Also, the board heard about a grant from Ruble on the Mineral Area College Funding for Distance Learning Telemedicine which provides new learning opportunities for students. The district will also get technology at 31 percent of the face value cost. Seven other school districts in the area participate in the program.

The board approved the grant.

The next meeting of the school board is Aug. 20, with the tax levy hearing at 4:30 p.m. and the regular meeting at 5.

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