EDGEWOOD, IA — The Edgewood-Colesburg Community School District held its second community meeting focused on the upcoming bond vote on Tuesday, October 12.
The event, which took place at Ed-Co Elementary School in Colesburg, included a discussion about the district’s needs and the two questions on the November 2 ballot. Community members asked a number of thoughtful questions about the proposal.
One question was related to how the levy rate increase is expected to be $2 when the ballot language states that the increase will be “up to $4.05.” The answer is that although voters will see $4.05 on the ballot, that number does not reflect the actual impact on property tax bills. The overall school property tax rate is made up of smaller individual rates: general operating, PPEL, management, Instructional Support, debt, etc. There is an ability to lower the management fund levy and adjust the income surtax amount of the PPEL so the debt service levy only has an impact of $2.00.
Another community member asked why an additional gym is needed at the Junior/Senior High School building. The answer is that the current gym is older and smaller than most competitive facilities in the area. Ed-Co lacks the space necessary for teams to practice and compete at a level comparable to other schools its size.
Most schools in the Tri-Rivers Conference have two gyms at their high schools to increase opportunities for students, provide flexibility, reduce time spent traveling and host quad events. Another gym onsite allows multiple events to be held at the same time, greatly reducing the time students and staff are waiting to compete or practice. A new competition gym would also provide adequate space to host community events.
If both bond issue questions are approved November 2, Ed-Co would be able to address a series of its most pressing facility needs while locking in historically low interest rates. The first question asks voters to allow the Board of Education to issue $12,050,000 in General Obligation Bonds to provide the funds necessary to move forward with the identified projects. The second question asks voters to approve an increase in the tax levy above $2.70, but not more than $4.05, per every $100,000 of assessed property value within the district boundaries.
An approval of both questions would mean the district would move forward with upgrades to mechanical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at its elementary school, new career and technical
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education spaces and improved accessibility in its Junior/Senior High School building. There would also be improved student and traffic safety, and the building of a new competition gym.
The district would use a mix of income surtax and property taxes to reduce the burden on property owners and to keep the overall district tax levy rate below the 20-year average. To that end, an approved bond would result in a $2 tax levy rate increase and have a property tax impact of $103 per year on a home with an assessed value of $100,000. That would equal an additional $8.59 per month.
The third and final community meeting on the bond issue will be Thursday, October 28, at 6 p.m. in the music room of the Junior/Senior High School in Edgewood. For more information on the district’s facility needs and the proposed solution that will appear on the November 2 ballot, visit https://www.edcobond.org.