Aromas-San Juan seeks bond OK

School district seeks to reissue $4.2 million for repairs

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The Aromas-San Juan Unified School District Board of Trustees is making final efforts to convince local voters to approve Measure M on the ballot for upcoming elections on March 3.

As voting is already underway for vote-by-mail, the district seeks to reissue $4.2 million in bonds to help finance construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities listed on a district-approved bond project list.

The measure needs at least 55 percent of voters in San Benito and the portions of the district in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties to vote “Yes” in order for it to be approved.

According to the San Benito County’s Registrar of Voters, the district intends to cancel $4.2 million in bonds authorized by voters in November 2010 if Measure M is approved, but which remain unissued, so that the district’s total bonded indebtedness would remain the same as approved by Measure Z.

The new bonds will have legal rates with projected yearly average levies less than $0.02 per $100 of assessed valuation through approximately 2031–generating an average of $455,000 per year.

According to the tax rate statement for Measure M, a projection of assessed valuations is $19.60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. That means a homeowner with a house worth $500,000 would pay at least $100 per year in new taxes.

The statement also claims the best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate is $45.10 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, which would be levied in fiscal year 2020-21 and following. The best estimate of the total debt service including the principal and interest is approximately $5 million.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rate is based on the assessed value–not market value–of taxable property on the San Benito County, Santa Cruz County and the Monterey County official tax rolls.

In addition, taxpayers are eligible for a property tax exemption such as the homeowner’s exemption that will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate.

One of the major projects the district plans to undertake is seismic and earthquake safety upgrades along with repair or replacing existing plumbing systems including drainage. This includes all the sites throughout the district: Aromas School, San Juan School, Mi Escuelita Pre-K and Anzar High School.

The district also plans to renovate, repair, expand or upgrade the interior, exterior along with infrastructure of existing classrooms and school facilities. Other things on the list include repairing roofs, ceilings, walls and replacing existing wiring systems to meet current electrical and accessibility codes.

The district also said it is necessary to replace existing window systems with energy efficient systems and repairing outdated temporary portable classrooms are a necessity for them as well. The district came up with a list of school site health, safety and security projects that includes upgrading or replacing buildings that do not meet current minimum building code standards.

The plan is to replace dry rot and repair damage caused by dry rot along with abating and removing hazardous materials identified prior or during construction. The plan also includes replacing or upgrading existing signage, bells, clocks and fire protection

systems.

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