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FARMINGTON — The School Board will wait until its July 10 meeting to decide whether to ask voters to approve a 1.25-mill property tax increase to help pay for phase 3 of the high school campus.

The district collects 42.6 mills, with 25 mills dedicated to maintenance and operations. The rest, 17.6 mills, is mainly dedicated to debt service.

Superintendent Bryan Law presented financial information at the June 19 meeting.

If the board wants to ask for a millage increase on the Sept. 19 school election ballot, a decision must be made before the middle of July, Law said. Otherwise, the district would have to wait to call a special election in spring 2018.

Board members said they weren’t ready to make a decision on the question.

“I do not want to make a decision tonight,” board member Travis Warren said. “I’d like to talk to some people. It’s a pretty big decision. We don’t need to make it rashly.”

Law said he thought the board could move its July meeting to July 10 to allow enough time to meet any deadlines required to place a millage increase on the school ballot.

A rough estimate provided by Law to board members shows phase 3 would cost about $5.9 million. This includes dirt work, track, football/soccer field, turf surface, concession stand/bathrooms, a a press box, bleachers, fieldhouse, stadium lights and a scoreboard.

The estimate doesn’t include an indoor practice facility or expanding the cafeteria at Ledbetter Intermediate School.

The school already has $3.4 million on hand for phase 3.

Law said property assessments for the district were $160 million for 2016-17 and are expected to increase to $167 million for 2017-18.

The increase in assessments would generate an additional $123,000 per year in property taxes for debt service, Law said, giving the district the ability to borrow about $2 million. The school’s debt service for a $1 million loan is $62,000 per year at a 3.75 percent interest rate for 25 years.

A 1.25-mill property tax increase would bring in $208,750 per year, giving the school the ability to borrow another $3.4 million.

This would give Farmington $8.4 million for phase 3, Law said.

In other action

The School Board approved:

• $115,000 for Apple Mac Mini computers and other technology needs for the new high school.

• $14,722 from Best Buy for 24 televisions for the high school.

• Accepted resignations from teachers Todd Holland and Rebecca Garza.

• Hired teachers Reeves Barr for the middle school, Zachary Perry (drama, high school) and Veronica Farfan-Lean (Spanish, high school).

Source: Staff report

Print Headline: Farmington School Board eyes millage increase

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