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Featured capital project FAQ: Why is the district putting the capital project up for vote on April 5 instead of during the budget vote in May?

March 9, 2018

Capital projects are governed by a complex set of regulations, laws and approval processes which add a considerable amount of time between voter approval, the bonding process and groundbreaking.

In July 2019, the district is set to pay off a bond that had financed the construction of the middle school nearly 20 years ago. Because state aid calculations are partially based upon the amount of a district’s debt, being in debt is fiscally healthy for a school district as it typically correlates to an increase in state aid. It is common for school districts who find themselves in need of serious repair to replace one debt package with another, and the district plans to take advantage of this opportunity to increase state aid and minimize the tax impact to its residents.

With the initial plan rejected in December, the district sought to analyze community feedback and present a new plan to the public based upon that feedback as quickly as possible in order to preserve the opportunity to replace the debt package and keep taxpayer costs as low as possible. If the district pushed the vote to the middle of May, it would lose the opportunity to replace the debt package, as there would be insufficient time to receive approvals from the state and bond counselors/financial advisors in time to replace the bond. Without replacing the bond, the amount of state aid on this project would decrease, ultimately costing taxpayers more money.

Taking into account the legal process the district must follow to present a vote to the public, the first opportunity to put the proposal up for a vote would have been in the last week of March. However, because that date fell during the school’s scheduled spring break, the district chose to extend the date into the first week of April when more residents are likely to be home and available to vote.

Residents who will be out of town on April 5 are still encouraged to vote via absentee ballot. For more information about voting via absentee ballot, please visit: https://www.monticelloschools.net/BOE/Capital%20Improvement%20Project_absentee%20ballots.cfm.

Read more about Monticello's proposed capital project

Capital project FAQ