Originally posted on 2014-08-07 15:16:56 -0700
Saugus Union School District governing board members unanimously approved putting a $148 million bond measure on the ballot this week.
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In November, voters who live within Saugus Union School District boundaries will have to decide whether they’re in support of a $148 million measure to replace outdated portable classrooms, leaky roofs and broken AC units. The fee increase for property owners would be a maximum of $30 per $100,000 in assessed value for a property, officials said. The actual fee would depend on Proposition 39 regulations on public bond measures.
The district also plans to use the money for significant and necessary technology upgrades, said board President Paul De La Cerda, who added that, if approved, staff and employee salaries would not be an expense paid for by the bond.
“If you own something for a period of time, there has to be repairs, there has to be upgrades,” said district Superintendent Joan Lucid.
The district has tried its best to be a good fiscal stewards of taxpayers’ dollars, noting some of the portable classrooms exceeded the 15- to 20-year recommended lifespan.
“The little fixes no longer can be made as little fixes,” she said. “Some of this stuff is getting old and needs to be replaced.”
Cedarcreek Elementary, which was built in 1966, has portable classrooms that are more than 20 years old, she said.
Saugus Union officials have sought input from residents for more than a year, developing a lengthy assessment of their needs, De La Cerda said. A lengthy document detailing areas of need is available on the district’s website.
District officials have also polled about possible support for a bond measure, Lucid said, noting in April 2013 the approvals numbers from a universe of likely SUSD voters was at 57 percent, and a few months ago that figure was closer to 60 percent.
De La Cerda acknowledged the idea of a tax increase of a little less than $30 per $100,000 in assessed value for property owners might not be wildly popular with everyone; however, a better school district improves property values, and the money is an important investment in the Santa Clarita Valley’s future.
“I’m not the first to jump on the bandwagon to support an initiative in favor of taxation,” De La Cerda said, “but this is one that has huge implications for the future of our community.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News