The Eastwood school board Monday will consider a resolution required to place a bond issue on the November ballot for constructing a new elementary school on the central campus.
The board is scheduled to meet June 30 at 7 p.m. to approve a resolution asking the Wood County Auditor’s office to certify the district’s property valuation, which will give Eastwood officials a clearer picture of how much millage is needed to pay off the bond issue.
Dave Michel, district treasurer, said the resolution will set a limit of 30 years for the bond issue at an interest rate of 4.75 percent but added the school board and administration are hopeful the interest rate could be lower when the district actually goes to market with the bond.
A task force and business advisory council earlier this year recommended the district proceed with plans to construct an 80,000-square-foot elementary school on the campus by leveraging local funds to receive funding from the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
The building would house students in kindergarten through the fifth grades now attending Pemberville and Luckey schools.
In April, school officials submitted a proposal to the county auditor in which the district would tap revenue from a tax abatement agreement with Home Depot, Inc. to largely finance the local share. Under the agreement, Home Depot, which is constructing a warehouse/distribution center in Troy Township, will pay $675,000 annually to the district for 15 years starting in January 2015.
Current debt the district has for an addition to the high school will be paid off in 10 years, Michel said, and the full amount of the abatement agreement will then be used to pay back the bond issue.
With some of the district’s debt being retired, the net effect to property owners will be minimal, he said.
“The net millage for the bond issue will be about 1.84 mills,” he said. “There will also be a permanent improvement levy that will collect about 0.5 mill. The total collected millage will be about 2.34 mills. The current high school addition costs about 1.45 mills and a current permanent improvement levy that is expiring is about 1.1 mills, or a total of 2.55 mills. The cost to taxpayers is very similar to what it is before the bond issue.”
A central campus location for an elementary school allows the district to save on transportation costs and better utilize personnel, the administration has claimed.
Still, there has been organized opposition to the plan by some residents who favor retaining the schools in Pemberville and Luckey.
The Eastwood board will also consider a request by the board of trustees of the Pemberville Public Library to place an 0.8-mill levy on the November ballot.
Brent Welker, Eastwood superintendent, said the school district is the taxing authority for the library but the levy isn’t a school issue.
Revenues from the levy, if passed, will all be used for library operations, he said.