ENSC is adding a Board meeting Wednesday, June 4! Please try to attend and listen to the ENMS updates. You also may provide your input by signing up to speak at the beginning of the meeting. There is a special sign in page for those who want to speak. The 1028 Hearing for the middle school project will be held on June 11. Again, if you would like to speak and provide your input on the project, you may do so by signing up before the meeting.
The June 4 meeting has just two agenda items. The first item is discussion over what the anticipated bonding will be for the project. This information is used for the 1028 Hearing and documentation. The Board will indicate the maximum dollar amount that could be spent on the project, the maximum the annual payments could be once the building is completed, and the maximum number of years it may take to payoff the building. Please understand, the Board must advertise the “maximum,” but in the end, the amount could be less and the number of years to pay off the project could be less.
The second item on the agenda is discussion over the referendum process. The Board had originally discussed forcing a referendum vote in November. However, they are considering ENSC not forcing that vote. For the past 7-8 months, ENSC has held community meetings, discussed the middle school project during nearly every Board meeting, met with many groups and people to discuss the project, and soliciting input on the project during any and all opportunities to talk with the public. From the beginning, there has been minimal opposition to building a new middle school. The comments have been consistent: 1) if taxes will not increase, they are not concerned about the cost; 2) when will the project begin; 3) how quickly can the project be completed; 4) are the sixth graders moving to the new building, and 6) where will the building be built.
The Board has continually discussed the desire to listen to the public and follow their input. That was a reason for ENSC to force the referendum vote. However, if we truly listen to the public input, the Board needs to consider there is little opposition and those expressing views want the building to be completed as soon as possible. ENSC forcing the vote to November would not be listening to the public.
Advantages of not forcing the project to a vote in November:
1) The project could begin 6-8 months earlier.
2) Starting earlier means saving money on current lower interest rates.
3) Starting earlier means saving money on construction costs at today’s prices rather than with eight months of inflation.
4) Community members who currently are hitting the tax caps will continue to see that advantage. If this were to go to the voters, the cost of the building is outside of the tax caps. This means those who are currently hitting the tax caps would pay a share of the building costs regardless of their tax cap.
If ENSC does not force this to the voters, someone else can follow through on the process and force a referendum vote. Therefore, voting is still possible.
While the district has not purchased land and is still considering multiple locations, most likely during the June 11 Board meeting, a potential area for building will be discussed. It may not be the exact site, but the public will have a much better idea of the possibilities for a location.
As always, please feel free to contact Ann Linson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 260-347-2502.
Link to May 28, 2014 Board Presentation over potential costs. https://www.dropbox.com/s/n9ncniksa127zpi/Board%20MS%20Presentation.pdf