The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly appears to be ready to let voters decide if the community should have a new high school, estimated to cost 115-million dollars.
The assembly last night (Thursday) held a special meeting at which they passed the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the borough to issue up to 115 million 300 thousand dollars in general obligation bonds. Assembly members were concerned with the language of the ordinance, and with how it would be presented to voters before the October 7th municipal election. Assemblyman Tom Abell said he supports the measure, but cautioned that anytime you talk about raising taxes it causes alarm bells to go off for some people.
(New KHS 1 :10s “…other monies to be pursued.”)
If voters ultimately approve the bond ordinance, the borough could recoup 60 to 70 percent of construction costs from the State of Alaska as part of a bond reimbursement program for new school construction. Kodiak schools’ Superintendent Stewart McDonald was at the meeting, and said the district is working on informational handouts that would educate voters about the benefits of building a new high school, and that the bond reimbursement will be part of those materials.
(New KHS 2 :19s “…describing, in them available.”)
Part of the plan is also to re-use the commons area of the current high school, which is currently undergoing a seismic retrofit, as new office space for the borough, city and school district.
The ordinance now moves forward to a second reading and public hearing at next Thursday’s regularly scheduled assembly meeting.