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School bond measures on for March primary 

Home Government School bond measures on for March primary 
Voters in the Williams Unified School District and Yuba Community College District will be asked to consider two bond measures to upgrade, build, or modernize educational facilities. 

The Williams Unified Board of Trustees, on Nov. 21, secured Measure C for the March 3 primary election, which, if passed, would authorize the sales of up to $19 million in general obligation bonds to finance new permanent classroom buildings at both the high school and elementary. 

In approved by voters, owners of taxable property within the district will be asked to pay $60 per year per $100,000 of assessed value, which would be levied in fiscal year 2020-21, officials said. 

The final fiscal year in which it is anticipated the tax will be collected is 2055-56, and at best estimate would be $57 per year per $100,000 in assessed property value. 

“The best estimate from official sources of the total debt service, including the principal and interest that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold, is approximately $38.6 million,” noted Superintendent Edgar Lampkin. 

The project list at Williams Unified calls for eliminating outdated and aging portable classrooms, modernizing the north and south wings at the high school, infrastructure improvements, a new gymnasium project, upgrade and expand technology to produce an effective learning environment, replace facilities that do no meet minimum building code standards, and install systems that promote energy efficiency, among other improvements.  

Voters in the Yuba Community College District will be asked to approve the sale of $220 million in general obligation bonds to repair, modernize, and construct facilities for career and technical education at the Yuba College and Woodland College campuses in Colusa, Lake, and Sutter counties. 

College officials plan to use the proceeds from the bonds to expand nursing/healthcare educational programs, fire/police training, and agricultural technology. 

If approved, property owners will be asked to pay $25 per year per $100,000 of assessed value on taxable property, levied in 20-21. 

The final fiscal year in which it is anticipated the tax will be collected is 2051-52, and at best estimate would be $23 per year per $100,000 in assessed property value. 

The total debt service, including principal and interest, is estimated to be $412 million, officials said. 

Williams Unified and Yuba College officials said they plan to use a combination of funding sources to complete their projects, and particularly hope to leverage local bond proceeds to acquire state matching funds, which also come from the sale of general obligation bonds. 

All voters in California will be asked to consider Proposition 13 in the March 3 primary. 

Proposition 13 would authorize the sale of $15 billion in bonds for school and college facilities in California, including $9 billion for preschool and K-12 schools, $4 billion for universities, and $2 billion for community colleges. 

The state would use the bond revenue to provide matching funds for school districts that cover between 60 and 65 percent of the costs of modernization projects and 50 and 55 percent of the costs of construction projects. 

Priority will be give to projects that address earthquake risks, districts with financial hardships (low tax base/high percentage of English learners/free or reduced price lunches), as well as projects that remediate lead in water or address severe overcrowding. 

All three bond measures on the March 3 ballot require voter approval of 55 percent. 

Californians last voted on a school facilities bond measure in 2016, which passed with 55 percent of the vote. The bond measure, titled Proposition 51, issued $7 billion for K-12 education facilities and $2 billion for colleges. 

Between 1998 and 2019, voters approved five bond measures for school facilities: Proposition 1A (1998), Proposition 47 (2002), Proposition 55 (2004), Proposition 1D (2006), and Proposition 51 (2016).■

Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at susan@colusacountynews.net

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