Voters to decide bond issue May 3

April 27, 2011 —

Voters in the Hudson Area School District will go to the polls next Tuesday to decide on an $8.5 million bond proposal. The proposal is for the purpose of remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, equipping and re-equipping school facilities. In addition, the proposal in part for energy conservation and security purposes; acquiring, installing and equipping educational technology in school facilities; equipping and improving physical education/athletic facilities, athletic fields and play fields; acquiring school buses; and developing and improving sites.

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2011, under current law, is 2.22 mills ($2.22 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation), for a net increase of 2.50 mills. The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is twenty (20) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 3.35 mills ($3.35 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

The proposal submitted to the state calls for $2,546,739 to be spent on remodeling, $342,702 on construction contingencies, $158,970 to be spent on instructional technology, $750,000 for buses. $880,230 for site work, $408,746 for architectural fees, and $346,418 for project management fees.

The total figure planned for Lincoln School is $2,022,970, of which $225,960 is for site work, which includes driveway and parking lot paving along with other items, and $1,224,206 for remodeling, the largest item of which is replacement of boilers. Technology upgrades will total $156,030. There are other costs involved in contingency, architectural and construction management fees.

The High School – Middle School building will get $5,431,858 of the bond, if approved. Site work totals $880,283; of this, $588,567 is for repaving parking lots and driveways, and $143,903 will be for resurfacing the running track. Remodeling comes to $2,546,738, of which $708,015 goes to replacing roofing. Replacement of window walls and windows comes to $257,712, and restroom renovation comes to $212,625. This part of the proposal also includes earmarking $750,000 to replace at least part of the school’s aging bus fleet. Again, there are other costs involved in contingency, architectural and construction management fees.

Work at Thompson Field is largely for safety reasons, according to Hudson School Superintendent Michael Osborne. The total cost of the work at Thompson Field is planned to be $882,612, with $570,675 going to site work such as parking lot improvements and a badly needed replacement of the electrical service. $99,225 is to be earmarked for renovations of the existing concessions building, along with other items. There are also other costs involved in contingency, architectural and construction management fees.

With over 30 community members involved with the bond committee, this bond proposal was developed by the community, for the community, says Randy Darr, chairman of the Securing Hudson Area’s Future Committee. “Given the tough economic times, no one enters into a discussion of potentially increased taxes lightly. This bond proposal is a very fiscally conservative way that we can help take care of what we have. There are no new buildings, no luxuries in this plan — just refurbishment and replacement of an aging infrastructure.”

The “Securing Hudson Area’s Future Committee” is a community based group that is organizing and developing a plan to present to the to the Hudson Area Board of Education supporting the bond proposal. The intent is to be able to provide details of the needed infrastructure work on the school facilities, says committee chairman Randy Darr.

The bond issue vote planned for May 3 is a important factor in the financial plan of the district. If it passes, it frees up monies that would otherwise be spent on repairs and maintenance. “Using bussing for an example, we spend a lot of money on repairing and keeping our busses in good condition, and some of them are quite old. Obviously, with newer busses there will be less time and effort spent on those busses,” said Osborne. “With the maintenance of our buildings, our workers are spending a lot of time putting patches on roofs, and repairing heating and ventilation equipment. As those things are updated and replaced, we reduce expenses and free up staff time.” If the bond issue doesn’t pass, it will be necessary to use extremely scarce general fund money to address the most critical of these needs, which will make even more staff and service cuts necessary.

The bond issue will be on the Hudson ballot on May 3. Voters in all of the Hudson School District will vote at the Hudson Fire Department Training Room on Railroad Street near Market Street.

“The work needed at the school is widespread, including boilers and new roofs, but also extending to many other things that have been allowed to deteriorate over the past few years with the tight school budgets the schools have been experiencing,” Darr said. “One of the points we’re trying to make is that this proposal does not include any new construction — it entirely aimed at things that have not been able to be done over the past few years.”

For more details, visit the committee’s website at http://www.securinghudsonareasfuture.com/ or contact Darr at (517) 204-5543.