Tuesday, October 06, 2015
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Published: Monday, 8/4/2014

Bedford levy likely on tap for November

Board expected to OK proposal

Kleinhans Kleinhans

TEMPERANCE — The Bedford Public Schools Board of Education on Thursday is expected to approve placing a renewal of the district’s sinking fund levy for building repairs on the November ballot.

The five year, 0.5-mill levy expires this year and generates about $500,000 annually. It costs the owner of a $100,000 home about $25 a year.

The board intended to let it lapse if voters in May had approved its $70.35 million plan for an extensive upgrade of the district’s aging buildings, most of which date to the 1950s and 1960s.

But in a heavier-than-expected turnout, the May 6 request for the 30-year, 4.37-mill levy needed to finance the improvements suffered a landslide defeat at the polls.

The board’s ambitious plan included construction of an elementary school at a yet-to-be-chosen site, but opponents deemed the tax increase excessive.

For the time being, the board seeks a renewal of the sinking-fund levy so it can make critical repairs, as identified by its architectural consultant.

It also intends to solicit community input for a strategic plan that will give the board a better feel for residents’ priorities for the district.

At a committee-of-the whole meeting last week, the board got its first look at a draft schedule of repairs — and their costs — that depends on voter approval of the levy renewal.

The list of proposed repairs will change, Superintendent Mark Kleinhans said.

In 2014-2015, it calls for the demolition of six portable classrooms at the high school ($12,000), four at the junior high ($8,000), the construction of secure entrances at Monroe Road Elementary ($35,000), Jackman Road Elementary ($60,000), Douglas Road Elementary ($60,000), and the former Smith Road Elementary ($35,000); repairing parking lots at the junior high ($80,000) and Douglas Road Elementary ($100,000), and engineering work at Douglas Road and Jackman Road elementaries ($20,000).

The 2015-2016 upgrades would be secure entrances at the high school and junior high ($150,000 each) and a track replacement ($100,000).

In 2016-2017, proposed improvements are replacing the public address and clock systems at the junior high ($170,000) and Jackman Road and Douglas Road elementaries ($100,000 apiece) as well as an engineering study of sewer, water, and heating lines at the high school.

In 2017-2018, the clocks and public address systems would be replaced at Smith Road ($100,000) and the high school ($150,000) there would be bathroom work at the kindergarten room at Monroe Road Elementary ($70,000).

In 2018-2019, the Smith Road roof would be replaced ($400,000) and the bleachers at the junior high ($140,000).

Contact Carl Ryan at: carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.

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