Voters in the Fulton City School District will vote Dec. 9 on a $3.85 million package of building improvements that will not carry a tax increase.
The Fulton Board of Education voted Tuesday night to go ahead with the referendum on two projects, which will be voted on as separate propositions:
A $1.1 million add-on to the current building project, to do roofing work at Fulton Junior High and Fairgrieve Elementary.Ã‚Â The roofing work was part of the building project that was approved in 2007 and which is underway now, but it was pulled from the plan to keep the total project at the $23.5 million voters had approved.Ã‚Â 98% of the project will be paid for by state building aid and the rest, $22,000, will come from special EXCEL aid the state has made available for certain construction projects;
A $2.75 million package of improvements in several areas.Ã‚Â Two boilers at G. Ray Bodley High School that were part of the original building would be replaced, security improvements in lighting, cameras, motion sensors and door locks would take place, and better wiring for technology in the junior high, Volney, Granby and/or Lanigan elementary schools would be installed.Ã‚Â EXCEL funds would pay for the entire project.
“This is an opportunity to use EXCEL funds, which we expect to be going away very soon,” said Bill Lynch, Fulton Superintendent of Schools.
“We want to get our fair share,” said Kathy Nichols, the district’s Director of Finance.
The EXCEL funds come from a special state fund set aside for construction projects that address several areas:Ã‚Â Education Technology; Health and Safety; Accessibility; Physical Capacity Expansion or School Construction; Energy.Ã‚Â The state set aside a specific amount of EXCEL aid for each district.Ã‚Â The goal of EXCEL funds is to allow district to tackle these projects without taxpayer funding.Ã‚Â The money is not being made available indefinitely.
Lynch said that because the state’s in a severe budget crunch, the time to act to get the remaining EXCEL funds is now.
Board members are a bit nervous about asking the public to approve a building project while another one is still underway and have asked the district to stress that no taxpayer funds will be used for the project.
“If the state would say there is no money, then there’d be no project, right?” asked board member Robbin Griffin.
“Right,” said Lynch.
The district will hold a public hearing on the proposed projects Nov. 18.