833: $5M from ‘06 bond will be neededA spare $5 million looks set to be left over from the 2006 bond referendum money for school construction projects, but don’t get too excited just yet.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
A spare $5 million looks set to be left over from the 2006 bond referendum money for school construction projects, but don’t get too excited just yet.
That was the message from Mike Vogel, the assistant to the superintendent at Thursday, Oct. 23’s School District 833 board meeting.
Giving a financial summary of where the $149 million levied had been or was being spent, he said that all of the projects covered by the referendum money had come in under-budget, plus there had been additional revenue from a variety of sources, accounting for the surplus.
“While I know that $5 million seems like a lot, it is roughly three percent of the total expenditure of all the projects,” explained Vogel.
“We are pleased that we are able to show a positive balance on these projects, but we caution that a fund balance of three percent is not a significant amount for all of these projects.”
Besides, he added, there were a number of areas where that money may well need to be spent in the not-too-distant future.
Vogel gave the examples of furniture, equipment and technology at the new East Ridge High School coming in over budget, or the Oltman Junior High School mechanical system replacement (just starting) costing more than predicted.
Equally, he said, if the school district is permitted by Woodbury City Council to erect a wind turbine on the land at East Ridge High School, construction and materials costs would top $2.5 million, accounting for half the surplus.
“While the board hasn’t made a decision on that yet, we would be reluctant to allocate the fund balance that we have until a decision on the wind turbine has been made,” added Vogel.
The 2006 bond referendum provided $149 million for school construction projects, including: $107 million for the construction of East Ridge; additions and improvements to Woodbury and Park high schools; additions to Cottage Grove Junior High and Grey Cloud Elementary; replacement of mechanical systems in Woodbury and Park high schools and Woodbury and Oltman junior highs.
Additional revenue comes from interest earned on the bond sales and reimbursement by the city of Woodbury for contract work performed at the Bielenberg Sports Complex during construction at East Ridge.