MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 19, 2011

Muskogee Schools to put $2.8M bond before voters

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Muskogee Public Schools will ask the public to vote April 5 on a five-year, $2.8 million bond.

If approved by the voters, the bond will result in a $28.65 total property tax increase on a home with a $100,000 market value, according to Stephen H. McDonald and Associates.

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the board unanimously approved the authorization and calling of a special election.

At the same board meeting, Chief Financial Officer John Little reported on upcoming budget cuts because of the loss of stimulus funding.

About $900,000 in budget cuts still need to be found, the amount spent in stimulus funds on 83 staff members, Little told the board.

“The full $900,000 we need to cut goes away June 30,” Little said. “We can take a year to study the budget and hope the economy improves. But after that year, we will have to reduce.”

The proposed bond will fund some general needs if passed, such as $378,000 for textbooks and upgrading technology throughout the district for $523,000.

Other special projects the bond will fund are to renovate, repair and remodel:

• 7th & 8th Grade Center, including resurfacing the stairways.

• Benjamin Franklin Science Academy, including repairing or replacing flooring and floor coverings.

• Cherokee Elementary, including replacing partitions between classrooms.

• Creek Elementary, including repairing or replacing the intercom system.

• Early Childhood Center, including removing partitions and installing permanent walls in classrooms.

• Grant Foreman Elementary, including replacing movable partitions with walls and doors.

• Harris-Jobe Elementary, including replacing HVAC units and partitions in 1987 addition.

• Muskogee High School, including replacing thermostats and controls.

• Pershing Elementary, including replacing restroom partitions.

• The football stadium, including replacing football field surface, weight room addition, new weights and equipment.

• Tony Goetz Elementary, including replacing restroom partitions in 1987 section and replacing or repairing floor sections.

Cost to homeowners

Tax increase associated with $2.8 million combined purpose bonds for Muskogee Public Schools:

Market value of house    Annual first year’s tax increase

$50,000    $12.89

$100,000    $28.65

$200,000    $60.17

$300,000    $91.69

$400,000    $123.21

$500,000    $154.72

Source: Stephen H. McDonald and Associates.

Reach Wendy Burton at 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.