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KUSD board approves to go to voters for a $35 million special bond election

Kingman Unified School District governing board approved asking voters for a $35 million dollar bond Tuesday, June 11, 2019 to refurbish Palo Christi and La Senita including HVAC upgrades and renovations, key fob system and new buses. (Photo by Vanessa Espinoza/Daily Miner)

Kingman Unified School District governing board approved asking voters for a $35 million dollar bond Tuesday, June 11, 2019 to refurbish Palo Christi and La Senita including HVAC upgrades and renovations, key fob system and new buses. (Photo by Vanessa Espinoza/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – The “TBD million dollar bond” has been determined. Kingman Unified School District Governing Board approved Tuesday, June 11 to adopt a resolution to order and call a special bond election to be held in November. The bond amount of $35 million came as a bit of a surprise since it hadn’t been brought up in past discussions.

The district presented the board with three bond options: $18 million, $26 million and $35 million.

The $35 million bond amount was a new number that was introduced. Other amounts introduced before were for $18 million and $23 million. KUSD board member, Jen Shumway, addressed her concerns regarding the new amount.

“Those of us who are trying to make a decision based on the school and staff needs, and what our voters want, the information that was put out there and what they responded to is really not either of these options.”

Ahron Sherman, KUSD finance director, agreed it is a new amount and that people surveyed saw the amount of $23 million, which closest to the second option of $26 million.

Shumway added she is concerned that the new amount will be a deal breaker with the voters.

“We really need to make sure that we’re as transparent as we can be when it comes to these numbers,” she said.

Shumway also suggested to bring down the amount of the bond closer to the numbers the public has seen and it’ll be more likely to pass, but Charles Lucero, KUSD board president, said there are important items the district needs to ask for and let the public decide.

“It’s up to our community and us to educate the public why we’re asking for this number and the benefits to the student,” Lucero said.

From the bond, $17 million would go toward the refurbishment of Palo Christi and $1 million is for the refurbishment La Senita; $5 million will go toward HVAC upgrades throughout the district; $2 million for the key fob system; $1 million for 10 new buses and $9 million for HVAC renovations at three schools.

The $1 million La Senita would receive, $500,000 would go toward maintenance related items and the other half for technology needs, Sherman said.

The key fob system would provide extra school security. The system would be installed in perimeter doors and hallway entry doors.

“This helps the district in many ways. Most importantly, it increases school safety by giving schools and the district more instant control of who goes in and out,” Sherman said.

The $5 million for HVAC upgrades will bring older units in the district up to date to increase comfort to the students, faculty and staff. The upgrades will eventually save the district up to $200,000 a year in energy savings.

A lot of the buses at the district are over 15 years old. The bond would buy 10 new buses, which would cost up to $1 million.

“This helps the district get closer to a reality where none of the buses in the fleet are over 15 years old,” Sherman said. “We have several years to get us in that position, but bond assistance here fast forwards the process and puts us in a nice position in 2025.”

The bond would go toward HVAC renovations at three schools, Kingman Middle School, Manzanita and La Senita, which would change from a two-pipe system to a four-pipe system. A four pipe system can run heating and cooling at the same time, whereas a two-pipe you can only do one at a time.

Coming November it will be up to the voters to decide if the district gets the bond or not. The tax-impact residents would see would be about $56.41 a year on a $100,000 home.

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