MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 6, 2013

Bonds OK’d in Hilldale

Proposal receives two-thirds of vote

— Hilldale voters passed a $7.4 million bond issue Tuesday to fund larger lunch rooms, more classrooms and safer traffic zones.

The bond issue received 65.37 percent of the vote, more than the 60 percent super-majority that state law requires. Unofficial results were 385 for the proposition and 204 against.

Superintendent Kaylin Coody said the proposition passed because officials were able to get the information out to the people.

“There was no fluff in the bond issue, just essentials,” Coody said. “We had the information on our website and through community meetings, the newspaper.”

 The bond issue projects include:

• New cafeterias with larger kitchens in the elementary, middle school and high schools.

• Two new classrooms and restrooms at the middle school.

• A new high school/middle school band room.

• A new elementary school parking lot with expanded pick-up and drop-off lanes.

The bond issue increases property taxes in the Hilldale district by 14.48 mills, or 19.21 percent. That results in a tax increase of $19.21 for every $100 a person pays in property taxes, according to figures from the Stephen L. Smith Corp. A homeowner paying $700 in taxes would pay $834; a homeowner paying $1,000 in taxes would pay $1,192.

Dave Eckerson, a member of the bond committee, said he was “ecstatic it passed.”

“Hilldale voters concluded it’s time to put money back into the school district,” he said. “We had three meetings, one in each school cafeteria to show what was needed, and 30 to 40 regular people were at each meeting.”

School officials said the current cafeterias are too small to accommodate the number of students, and the kitchens at the buildings also are inadequate.

The new elementary parking lot would go behind Wesley United Methodist Church, adjacent to the school. It would open a second entrance on Peak Boulevard.

Coody said school officials will meet with architects and contractors to decide which project to start first.

“Obviously, we want to get going on this so we can have it finished as soon as possible,” she said, adding that her main goal is to see the projects finished by December 2014.

“But we would like to have it before then,” she said.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

Hilldale bond issue

For — 385 or 65.37 percent

Against — 204, or 34.63 percent.

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