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5 Things You Should Know About the School Bond Issue

This may be the district's one and only shot

 

The fate of Issue 116, the bond issue for the Strongsville schools, will be decided at the polls next Tuesday.

If you haven't already voted, here are some things you might want to know before you cast your ballot.

1. It may be now or never

Officials have acknowledged if the bond issue doesn't pass this year, it would be a much tougher sell later.

Superintendent John Krupinski calls this time "our perfect storm" to pass a bond issue.

Biggest factor: Most homeowners would see their taxes rise only slightly, even though it's a large bond issue.

"This is an opportunity we won't have again," Ward 3 Councilman Jim Carbone agreed. "Bond rates are low, construction rates are low and we have money we can recapture."

The bond issue would allow the district to build a $46 million middle school on the site of the current 104-year-old Center Middle School; make $26 million in building and technology improvements at Strongsville High School; and put $9 million into elementary school buildings.

2. Here's why homeowners would see only a small increase in taxes

Two existing bond issues that cost $77 a year for every $100,000 in home valuation are expiring.

The $81 million, 33-year bond issue would cost homeowners about $2.09 a month more per $100,000 in valuation than they pay now. 

If the bond issue doesn't pass, homeowers will see their property taxes decrease about $6 a month.

3. The money can only be used for physical improvements, not salaries.

That's the law. Levies can pay for operating expenses; bond issues are for physical improvements.

4. The issue would save $1.5 to $2 million a year in operating costs.

Once a new middle school is built, Krupinski estimates the district will save a minimum of $1.5 million a year in operating costs -- from consolidating two buildings into one, and from lower energy and maintenance expenses.

5. Fringe benefits would include better technology at the high school and the potential to add all-day kindergarten.

"This is not just about facilities. It's providing our students with technology they have at home, but they don't have at school," Krupinski said. "It's still the teacher that's the most important part of the classroom, but that teacher needs tools."

Also, with sixth-graders being moved to the new middle school, the elementary buildings would have room to provide all-day kindergarten -- a shortcoming that has led to declining enrollment, the superintendent said.

James Murphy October 31, 2012 at 01:36 PM
To beat Lyn to the punch since you still have not settled the teachers contract, all the while keeping the taxpayers in the dark about the progress, we will not pass the bond issue (we know they are NOT connected) when you have a teachers contract that is in line with what WE the taxpayers have been dealing with in the REAL world (our pay being cut and our benefits increasing) then we will pass your levy
James Murphy October 31, 2012 at 01:38 PM
OH ..... while the salaries of all of us (taxpayers) are decreasing the school board is increasing the employees at will Alana Bendetta From BA/1, $37,089.00 to BA 30/1, $39,887.00 Antoinette Cipriani From MA/10, $62,842.00 to MA 15/10, $65,912.00 Maria Alfano-Cooper .4 FTE From MA 15/8, $23,783.00 to MA 50/8, $25,198.00 Melissa Friedman From MA 15/4, $48,703.00 to MA 30/4, $50,364.00 Katie Henderson From MA/2, $43,174.00 to MA 15/2, $44,400.00 Mark Hertel From MA 15/13, $72,539.00 to MA 30/13, $75,655.00 Jana Karanicolas From MA/14, $68,916.00 to MA 16/14, $72,539.00 Peter Lamberty From MA/11, $64,809.00 to MA 15/11, $68,083.00 Ann McDevitt From MA/4, $47,107.00 to MA/5, $51,041.00 Megan Welch From BA/0, $34,779.00 to BA/1, $37,089.00
lyn October 31, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Is Patch having a problem with their comment section? I'm not seeing comments now on this article.
lyn October 31, 2012 at 01:50 PM
And now I see the first 2 comments. It looks like I'm not seeing comments until I post a comment.
Debbie Palmer October 31, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Lyn, yes, we're having delays this morning with the site. We're told it has to do with Hurricane Sandy-related problems at our HQ offices in New York.
Jean Williams October 31, 2012 at 07:17 PM
James where did you get these figures from? and if true who does the school board think they are giving out raises, while families are suffering just to keep afloat
Faith November 01, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Once again, a responsible voter researchs the facts before the vote. The levy money WILL NOT be used towards salaries! It is against the law for levy money to be used for anything other than it is intended. Be a responsible voter and research the facts before shooting off your mouth. AND the salaries being increased above.......they are due to increased education and seniority. Pretty much standard operations for any business. You only prove the reason we have irresponible politicians in government. People do not do their own research. The simply believe the commercials and publications made by opponents. Give it some thought, if you wanted to get a job, wouldn't you try to make the other person look bad? Do you expect the candidates to pay for a commercial so they can say, "My opponent is better qualified than I am, and I endorse this message". Be an educated, responsible voter and do your research! Mr. Murphy has no idea what the facts are and is just following in the footsteps of many of our politicians.
Faith November 01, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Lyn, James is quite an uninformed voter. Any raises going out have nothing to do with the levy. They DO however have to do with school employees furthering their education and or increases in seniority. Our teachers don't have a choice as far as their continuing education. The state standards are ever changing and we have to keep up with that in order to meet the teaching standards.
lyn November 01, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Faith- You miss the point James is making. Teachers continue to receive salary increases, while many in the community are suffering hardships. Also, we are being asked to vote on a levy for Phase 1, and Phase 2 is coming up soon. And the other question is, besides the board asking us to pay for these 2 levies, will they be asking us to also cover another operating levy to cover whatever is needed in a yet to be determined teachers contract? So, the public would like to know what is going on with those negotiations. Automatic step increases may be built in, but what if the "base" as I'll call it, were adjusted- as in private industry, where workers are asked to give up. I'm not saying this is something I support, but I sure would like to know what is going on in the negotiations, if any. It looks like, to many of us, they don't want to even mention or give any hint to the fact that a new contract is being worked on, for fear that people might anticipate being asked in the future for another levy to cover these costs. WE DO KNOW< AS JAMES SAID< PLEASE READ AS HE WROTE< THAT THIS BOND ISSUE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TEACHERS. We just want to have ALL the facts before voting now, because we know more requests from the board are coming. There may be a total of 3 levy requests, and we should know this going in now.
lyn November 01, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Faith- Reread his comment - he said "(we know they are NOT connected)"
Bruce W. Lockhart November 07, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Faith, as a responsible voter were you aware that the proposed middle school includes a $5,500,000 Performing Arts Center, or that the proposed cost does not include demolition for another $1,250,000, or the proposed cost per sqaure foot is almost twice of any school in our three state region. I sure hope so. I'd hate to think of what would happen isf the board just said we need $75,000,000 to build a new Middle School.

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