The Bethel School Board has voted to place a $99.3 million school bond on the November 2020 ballot. The bond, Measure 20-314, will prioritize student safety, building repairs, updated textbooks and computers, and school improvements.
What exactly is a Bond Measure? Doesn’t the State pay for schools? How can the bond not increase the tax rate? Learn the answers to these questions and more by clicking on the Frequently Asked Questions.
Bethel School District taxpayers want to know if their money is being spent wisely, and managed responsibly and frugally. Here are some relevant examples:
This bond is estimated to not increase the current 2020-21 tax rate. Old bonds that helped build Prairie Mountain School are being paid off and the new bond would maintain the tax rate at the same $1.61/$1,000 of assessed valuation.
The current school district tax rate in Bethel is 41% lower than it was 10 years ago.
Bethel School District will be awarded more than $6 million in state grants, awarded only if the 2020 bond measure is approved.
If the bond is not approved, the Oregon Schools Capital Improvement Matching Grant (OSCIM) funds will be awarded to the next school district on the waitlist that did pass a bond.
Bethel School District has refinanced its bonded debt three times in the last 9 years, reducing the long-term debt to taxpayers by more than $4 million.
Similar to restructuring the mortgage on a home loan, refinancing a portion of the District’s outstanding bonds at lower interest means the bonded debts will be paid off more rapidly and cost less in interest.
In Bethel School District’s last three bond measures that built Meadow View, Prairie Mountain, Kalapuya, Fairfield, Malabon, and the Willamette Science building, the District’s construction projects came in on time and within budget.
With the last bond (2012) the District selected three local General Contractors to lead the work at its school construction projects.
In order to address current energy savings throughout the District, Bethel has entered into an agreement with Ameresco. The company will provide $3.6 million in energy savings projects, including lighting, HVAC controls, plumbing improvements, and irrigation systems.
Financed with a $3.6 million loan, the improvements come at no upfront cost to the District and will be paid for through the guaranteed cost savings they generate.