Milford school officials consider bond issue

August 4th, 2007    Author: Rodney Beckwith    Filed Under: News

Milford Schools officials are hoping to clear the air concerning a new bond issue attempt, which is intended to maintain current taxation rate with homeowners in the district. Two special meeting dates have been set by the board to discuss the bond issue with the public. Those meetings will be held at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 7 and at 11 a.m. Aug. 10.

The new bond issue, should the district decide to pursue it, will be designed to supplement a current bond issue, will not, in effect, raise the millage currently assessed to property owners in the district. Instead, the new bond issue would keep the bond set at the same millage currently adopted by the district.

“This has been pared down,” said Valerie Miller, speaking for Milford Schools. “The idea is, in the end, they will still be collecting 4.1 mills, but some would be new millage and some would be the dropped-off millage.”

District residents currently pay taxes on a 4.1 mill bond issue which was passed by voters some years ago, resulting in the construction of four new elementary schools. However, as the value of property has continued to increase since the bond was passed in 2001, the rate of taxation has been targeted by the county auditor's office to drop by 2.05 mills. That taxation rate decrease would set the bond issue to generate the same amount of money as the original bond issue of 4.1 mills. The district has decided to ask voters, however, to approve a 2.05 mills bond issue that would effectively keep the bond issue in effect at 4.1 mills. The effect would be to leave taxes at the current level, and provide extra money in the process to make further improvements and additions to buildings in the Milford School District. One such improvement would be to the high school.

According to Miller, the district has plans at this time to move the ninth grade to an old building, which has not been in use by the district for several years, in order to alleviate crowding at the current high school. Passage of this bond issue would then allow the district to make additions to the high school to house the ninth grade in the future.

"The ninth grade community next year, 2008-2009, will be going to Milford Main, which is the old high school and middle school," said Miller. "They'll use that next year. Currently, it's being used by St. Andrew, the catholic school next door. They're using it for a few classrooms and the cafeteria. It is not being used by Milford Schools right now."

The new ninth grade wing would be joined by new science labs and an enlarged cafeteria to meet the demand for space at the high school. Currently, many students have to eat lunch while standing, since there is no space for everyone to sit. The high school would also benefit from increased security measures.

"The idea is to alleviate overcrowding and get rid of the trailers that are currently used for the ninth grade community," said Miller. "The trailers are an added expense. They are costly, and the lease is coming up on those. If we can get rid of that expense and move the children to a building we own and are only paying to maintain, we can alleviate the high school crowding. If you take 500 children away, even though they are mostly segregated, it will help to lighten the crowd at the high school. It's hoped to be temporary solution. If the bond passes, they will only be there in the interim. If there is no construction, then the ninth grade will stay there until some construction can happen."
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