MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

December 11, 2012

Hilldale, FG schools to seek bonds

Hilldale Public Schools won’t ask the public to build a new high school this year.

However, several needs that existed when it failed to pass a $20.9 million bond issue in 2010 will be addressed if a $7.4 million bond issue is passed by voters in March.

The Hilldale Board of Education voted to ask voters for the $7.4 million bond at its regular meeting Monday.

The bond will raise property taxes less than half of what the failed 2010 bond would have — instead of $39.26 per $100 in taxes paid, the new bond will raise taxes an estimated $19 per $100 for 10 years.

The school board was told the bond will raise the sinking fund millage from zero to 14.48 if it passes.

“We feel like it’s pretty well a worst-case scenario on our tax increases,” said Jordan Smith, representative of the company the school is using to write the bond. “Your sinking fund millage stands at zero right now, and I’ve prepared a list that shows what surrounding school districts millage rate was in 2011 for your comparison.”

Oktaha schools have a sinking fund millage rate of about 26.06, Fort Gibson 12.55, Muskogee 19.11 and Warner 8.70, according to Smith’s list.

School board members discussed options presented by Smith before settling on the $7.4 million bond, which will bring approximately $6.5 million workable money to the table for such projects as improving traffic flow at the elementary and new classrooms where needed.

If passed, the bond would begin in 2015 and end in 2025.

Fort Gibson Public Schools Board of Education also voted on a bond resolution at its Monday meeting.

The board voted to ask the public to pass a $5.4 million bond in spring of 2013.

However, if passed, Fort Gibson’s bond issue will not raise taxes in the school district, said Superintendent Derald Glover.

New science labs, school buses, roofs at two schools and technology are possibilities for bond monies if voters pass the issue in March.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

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