USD 410 preparing for $6.6m bond vote

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ALEEN RATZLAFF
Unified School District 410 Board of Education held a special meeting Monday evening to discuss facility-improvement plans.

The board unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a bond election of $6.6 million set for June 5.

Approval of the bonds will fund major projects for four facilities: Hillsboro Elementary School, Hillsboro High School, district transportation facility and the USD 410/Tabor College athletic facility.

Monday night’s vote followed a 25-minute executive session concerning property acquisition with the board, Superintendent Gordon Mohn and financial consultants Dustin Avey of Piper Jaffray & Co. and Kevin Cowan of Gilmore & Bell, P.C.

Major items still to be decided involve acquisition of facilities for the district’s transportation headquarters and central office.

Options under consideration include acquiring and remodeling an existing building or erecting new transportation facilities and acquiring property for the central office.

Following the executive session, Avey presented an analysis of the mill levy impact, while Cowan reviewed a proposed timetable for the election and bond sale processes.

Approving the bonds would mean an average mill levy increase between 3.87 and 4.56, depending on the final plans adopted.

Avey reviewed a schedule that eased the mill increase over a projected bond term.

The board is considering several term length options-ranging from 15 years to 25 years.

“A longer term would reduce the impact of the mill levy, but it would also increase the interest,” Avey said.

Avey presented analyses for 20 and 25 years, but the board requested data for a 15-year term to see the impact of raising the mill levy, which will be reviewed at next month’s board meeting.

“We’ll want to go to the public and educate them about this proposal so they can made an informed decision,” said board president Rod Koons.

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