Assembly puts bond issues on ballot

Juneau voters will be asked to approve two bond issues this fall to pay for school projects.

The CBJ Assembly Monday night agreed to use bonds for a ground source heat system at Auke Bay Elementary School and new artificial turf at Adair Kennedy Park. The questions will be on the October 4th municipal election ballot.

Auke Bay School is being renovated. While a ground source heat pump would initially cost more than the proposed heating oil system, it would save the school district money in the long run, as well as reduce carbon emissions.

To minimize the cost of the $1.4 million general obligation bond to taxpayers, the district plans to apply interest earned on completed elementary school renovation projects to the debt service. That means a small property tax reduction for 2012, according to city manager Rod Swope.

As for the impact on taxpayers over the life of the bond:

“Assuming an interest rate of 3.5 percent, the amount of debt service for this proposal would require an annual property tax levy of $1.21 per $100,000 of property tax value for a 10-year period,” Swope said.

The second ballot question is for a $1.9 million general obligation bond for new turf at Adair Kennedy Park. The school district also plans to put interest earnings toward the debt service.

Swope says it would cost property taxpayers $1.04 per $100,000 of assessed value for the 10-year life of the bond.

The Adair Kennedy field was the first artificial turf installed in Juneau. Swope says the city was told it would last about 20 years, but it’s reached the end of its useful life at 10. In addition, vandals burned the field in several spots earlier this summer.

Both school projects qualify for 70 percent reimbursement by the state’s School Construction Bond Debt Reimbursement Program.