School repairs focus of Proposition 1

Posted: Monday, September 25, 2006

The question asked by Kenai Peninsula Borough Proposition 1 is: Shall the Kenai Peninsula Borough borrow up to $2,588,000 through the issuance of general obligation bonds for school improvement projects?

If the majority of peninsula voters say “yes,” general obligation bond proceeds will pay costs associated with the planning, designing, site preparation, construction, acquisition, renovation, installation and equipping of educational capital improvement projects within the borough, specifically:

· Areawide arsenic remediation of seven schools — Cooper Landing Elementary, McNeil Canyon Elementary, Nikiski Middle-High, Nikiski North Star Elementary, Skyview High, Sterling Elementary and Tustumena Elementary schools, totaling $1,029,860;

· Roofing for Nikolaevsk School, $675,000;

· Roofing for McNeil Canyon Elementary School, totaling $583,140;

v Window replacement at Soldotna Elementary School, totaling $300,000.

Passage of the proposition approves the sale of bonds, which will be paid for from property taxes.

It also allows the borough to be reimbursed for approximately 70 percent from the state of Alaska through legislation enacted in 2005.

That year, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 75, which allows the state to reimburse up to 70 percent for school capital improvement bonds.

The amount set for the Kenai Peninsula Borough is $2,588,000. The program allows the borough to recover costs incurred as far back as three years.

The four projects identified in the proposition have already been approved by Kenai Peninsula Borough School District board of education, were included in the borough’s 2006 legislative priority list and have received approval by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development as required for reimbursement.

According to Glen Szymoniak, KPBSD assistant superintendent, some of the arsenic remediation work has been completed.

The roof projects and window replacement have not begun.

“We’re looking to use state money instead of borough money,” Szymoniak said. “This will help borough finances a lot.”

There are no operating or maintenance costs associated with the four projects.

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