The USD 410 Board of Education gave the green light at a special meeting Monday evening, approving bids for remodeling the current Midway Motors facility on West D Street as a new district central office and transportation center.
The board approved the guaranteed maximum price of $210,000 for the project. That amount includes a percentage for builder Vince Jantz of Jantz Construction, Tampa, who will head the project and set up contract orders.
?I felt like we had pretty good bid numbers,? Jantz said as he distributed a list of the lowest bids to the board.
Jantz said the 21 bids submitted by contractors for various aspects of the project were opened Nov. 30. In most cases, the lowest bid was chosen, Jantz added.
The meeting involved an extensive discussion by the board to determine the scope of the project, which included a base bid of $155,586 and additional costs for remodeling bathroom, conference room and vestibule.
Tax increment district
The board also discussed a proposal by the city of Hillsboro to establish a tax increment financing (TIF) district for the new Hillsboro Business Park at the north end of town.
Taxes generated by increased valuation that may result from developments within the park would be used to pay off the bonds the city used to put in the infrastructure, Noble said, adding that most of the increases in tax revenue would not come to USD 410 for an estimated 16 years, the time projected to pay off the bonds.
Noble said rather than losing funds from the existing tax base, any loss in revenue to the school district would be from new revenue resulting from the TIF district.
But once Midway goes off the tax rolls when it moves and 410 takes over the former facility, Noble said, the district would lose some funds because the business would no longer be paying taxes on the D Street building.
The TIF issue had been added to the evening?s agenda because the city had scheduled a public hearing for the following day at city hall.
If no formal objection is made, the proposal will automatically happen, Noble said.
Noble prefaced the discussion by expressing his support for the city?s TIF proposal ?in the interest of community development.? He then asked board members for their input.
Board member Rod Koons was the first to respond.
?I?ve just had a hard time supporting this,? Koons said, adding that he doesn?t want to play the ?What if game??
The only hard numbers, Koons said, are the projected $7,600 annually from the Midway Motors development alone.
?Midway is not a new business to our community,? he said. ?I?d be very hard-pressed to believe they?re going to bring new jobs to our community.?
Board president Eddie Weber countered that Midway may bring in more sale tax to the city.
Koons acknowledged that his perspective may be influenced by some personal feelings.
The board, however, took no formal action regarding the proposal at Monday?s meeting.
Noble said he planned to attend the Tuesday hearing and ask questions to clarify concerns expressed during the board?s discussion.
The current fiscal budget crunch faced by both USD 410 and the county raises questions about the city?s proposal.
Attending the meeting to hear the board?s perspective were Marion County commissioners Randy Dallke and Dan Holub and county commission-elect Roger Fleming.