Last night, March 14, 2018 at the CUSD 200 school board meeting the Board of Education voted 7-0 to approve the resolution authorizing and providing for a ‘lease and escrow agreement for the purpose of building and equipping a new early childhood center in and for the district’. When the video of the meeting becomes available, I will post a link to it, listing key time points. Apparently the board members decided to trust that this is “legal.” I am NOT a lawyer, but, I can read English. And this doesn’t sound legal to me.
Take a look at what the Edgar County Watchdogs wrote about it:
- CUSD 200 – Laws? What Laws? – SCHOOL Districts using “Lease” to avoid the legal requirement for referendum to build new school edgarcountywatchdogs.com/…
On Nov. 8, 2017 the Board of Education approved 6-1 Legat Architects’ schedule for the new Jefferson Early Learning Center – a new building WITHOUT taxpayer approval. Key days according to it:
- 04/06/18 Nicholas completes 90% D.D. Cost Estimate
- 06/25/18 95% Construction Documents Complete – Start Final Comments Final Review & Coordination/ Scope of Work Summaries
- 07/09/18 Issue Bid Documents
- 08/15/18 Board Meeting: Award Construction Contracts [by then, the project & financing must be approved]
- 08/16/18 Start Construction: Mobilization – 12 Months [for construction to start, financing must be secured]
- 06/05/19 Start of Abatement, Demolition, Site Work and Parking
- 08/21/19 Occupancy
Most likely in August 2018, the Board will approve the project and sale of the Lease Certificates. They can still decide not to go forward with the project if the cost is too high, they do not have the money to do this, or they become convinced that a referendum is required.
Financing Option – from Sept 2017
We found this presentation about financing options (with pros and cons for each) from PMA that was given last fall – September 2017. Why did the district pursue building the new pre-k facility as a wing on an existing school last fall if they were so sure they could legally build a brand new Jefferson at the current location without a referendum?
Cut other spending first
I have told the board in public comments that if they go for another referendum after cutting enough from the bloated salaries and Benefits (starting with Dr. Schuler setting a good example) so that the district can actually afford this new building, while still maintaining the other 19 schools and without raising taxes… then I will help pass it. But, cutting the bloat comes first! If the staff won’t give anything, then it must not be that important.