Ritenour Approves Zero Tax Rate Change Bond Issue
The Ritenour School District Board of Education voted unanimously at its Jan. 9, 2020 meeting to place a $19.5 million bond issue measure on the ballot for the municipal election. Due to concerns about COVID-19 (coronavirus), the April election has been postponed until Tuesday, June 2, 2020. The bond issue, called Proposition S, will not increase the current tax rate. Voter approval would allow the District to address pressing facility and safety needs at all Ritenour schools.
Proposition S would pay for construction, repairs and renovations in Ritenour schools without raising the debt service tax rate. Passage of Prop S would require approval by a four-sevenths majority, or 57.14 percent, of voters in the June 2 election. Download the Fact Sheet and view the FAQ for Proposition S.
“Our students and community deserve first-class facilities,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Kilbride. “Ritenour has created a strong legacy of providing the best opportunities for our students. We continue to be strongly committed to that tradition. Voter approval of Prop S would allow us to make needed repairs and improvements to our aging school buildings as we continue to meet the learning needs of our students today and in the future. We also know that by keeping our buildings in good condition, we will also strengthen our neighborhoods and community.”
Ritenour has nearly one million square feet of school facilities with a replacement value of more than $300 million. The average age of Ritenour school buildings is more than 50 years old. These buildings are safe and well-constructed, but require extensive ongoing maintenance, repair and renovations to keep them in good condition. Because of solid financial management and a recent increase in property values, Ritenour can make these repairs and renovations with a bond issue that does not raise the debt service tax rate for district residents.
Prop S would allow the district to borrow $19.5 million in bonds to pay for major school maintenance and repair projects. Specifically, Prop S projects would include the following:
-Safety, security and surveillance upgrades: Improving building access controls, replacing aging cameras
-HVAC replacements and upgrades
-A new fitness/weight room at Ritenour High School
-Lighting upgrades and other energy-saving improvements
-Cafeteria modernization and upgrades
-Plumbing and electrical replacements and upgrades
-Asphalt repairs, sealing and striping
-Playground pad replacements
Funds from a bond issue cannot pay for salaries, benefits, supplies, utilities, or other operating costs. Voters last approved a bond issue in 2008 for $50 million with a 20-cent increase in the debt service tax rate. Voters again overwhelmingly approved Prop A in 2017, a 39-cent operating tax increase.