Borough Residents to Decide School Maintenance Bond

[listen here]
Jay Barrett/KMXT
On the municipal election ballot Tuesday will be a question seeking the public’s approval of a $10-million bond package to do maintenance projects in Kodiak Island Borough Schools. Borough Manager Bud Cassidy was on Talk of the Rock this week to explain the bond and its implications.
“So there’s underground storage tanks, there is flooring replacement. That could be tile that’s worn out or carpeting that’s stretched and creates a tripping hazard,” Cassidy said. “HVAC controls – that has to do with heating and cooling a building, pretty critical when they’re paying six bucks a gallon for diesel oil. So controls which actually are able to monitor the building by computer to tell you when heat needs to be applied and doesn’t need to be applied. Cafeteria roof at East Elementary school, maintenance on a roof. Fire alarm replacement and replacement of boilers.”
Borough Finance Director Karl Short said this was probably the best time to float a bond for school facilities work, and not just because the interest rates are extremely low:
“You know we need to keep up with our infrastructure, or it may become more expensive as maintenance costs go up through obsolescence,” Short said. “And right now with the state reimbursement at 70 percent at the high school and new school construction, it is a way for our citizens to save money by doing the work now and not putting it off to when we don’t get that state reimbursement.”
That reimbursement will be 70-percent from the State of Alaska, Cassidy said, just like the Kodiak High School addition project:
“We’re getting an $80-million school for $20-million dollars. So at least from a cost stand point it certainly is beneficial,” Cassidy said. “But again it goes back to that duty of the state of Alaska to educate students and provide facilities where kids can have a safe working environment.”
Cassidy said the maintenance projects the money is for will have to be done one way or another, and if it’s not through the bond process, the borough will have to foot the entire cost of the work. Whether to issue the bonds will be a question on the municipal election ballot before borough citizens on Tuesday.
You can hear more about the bond issue online at KMXT.org, where Tuesday’s Talk of the Rock is posted.

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