In accordance with Utah law, Ogden School District is required to present an argument for the issuance of bonds as presented to voters during the 2018 election. There was no argument against the issuance of bonds filed during the state mandated submission period.
Argument “For” the Issuance of $87 Million in General Obligation Bonds
The Board of Education (the “Board”) of Ogden City School District (the “District”) recognizes the obligation to provide students in the District with a quality education. Indeed, the success of our community is directly linked to our children’s education and their ability to make decisions, solve problems and serve those around them. Never has our future been more dependent on an exceptional education. Key to this success are facilities capable of utilizing current and future technological and instructional advancements to deliver an education experience to best serve the needs of today and the foreseeable future.
In 2002 the District did a comprehensive facility review. Facility needs were identified and cost estimates provided. In 2006, electors approved a $97 million bond to begin addressing identified needs. Those bond proceeds, along with millions in donations from generous District patrons and subsequent Board authorized bonds, have gone farther than expected. A subsequent referendum to address other facility needs failed by 238 votes in 2017. Notwithstanding, the fact remains the District is currently operating 10 schools constructed in the 1950’s or earlier that no longer meet current instructional and safety standards. Your Board of Education is working to ameliorate this situation.
Much of the debt approved in 2006 has been paid. The Board now proposes the issuance of $87 Million in General Obligation Bonds to address a new construction phase. It should be noted, bonding through a positive vote of the people is the lowest cost mechanism available to a school district for financing capital improvements. Fortunately, the State School Bond Guarantee Program enables the District to capitalize on the State’s “AAA” rating to obtain the lowest possible interest rates and thus, make the most of precious taxpayer dollars.
The Board has in place a Capital Facilities Finance Plan to identify capital facility needs and develop financing options. The proposed 2018 bond calls for new schools to replace Horace Mann and TO Smith Elementary Schools, a renovation of Polk Elementary School and an addition to Wasatch Elementary School to replace nine portable classrooms on that site. Assuming proposed projects are built under budget, remaining bond proceeds will be used, to the extent possible, for other needs identified in the Capital Facilities Finance Plan.
The Board expresses appreciation for the efforts of committed community members and district staff in reviewing needs and assisting in setting priorities for the proposed bond. November 6, 2018 is your opportunity to support District students now, and for years to come, by voting “YES” to support the Ogden City School District bond. Our children’s future and safety depend on your affirmative vote!
Board of Education of Ogden City School District September 7, 2018
The Board will discuss the pros and cons of the proposed bond on October 25. 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the District Office Board Room, 1950 Monroe Blvd, Ogden, Utah. All interested patrons are invited and encouraged to attend.
As a matter of information, no one submitted an opposing argument.