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Thu, Sept. 19

Humboldt school board considering bond issue

PRESCOTT VALLEY – In-vestment banker Michael LaValle advised the Humboldt Unified School District Governing Board Tuesday that they could conceivably place a $51 million bond before the voters on the November ballot.

In his discussion of the bonding process at the district's Governing Board meeting, LaValle said the district could use the money over a six-year period.

He said the bond measure would mean a total property tax rate increase of about 71 cents, an increase of about $100 a year on an average home with an $86,000 value.

Superintendent Henry Schmitt asked where Yavapai County is, compared to other counties in the state.

"You're right in the middle of most schools," LaValle said, "and on the low side for a growing county."

Schmitt was quick to tell the public at the meeting that the bond issue was merely a discussion item and not a decision by the board.

Schmitt also questioned LaValle on the validity of refinancing HUSD's current bond debt, which totals $23,715.

"Only a small portion, about $2,000 of it, can be refinanced," LaValle said. "And HUSD has already been aggressive with refinancing in 1998 and again in 2001."

Again, Schmitt cautioned the public when ending the discussion.

"Our charge here tonight is only to update the board with where we are," he said.

Other discussion items included Schmitt's draft staffing proposal for the 2004-05 school year. He suggested the board approve a joint pricnipalship to oversee both Bradshaw Mountain Middle School and Humboldt Elementary School.

"We're ready to implement this," Schmitt said. "And be very clear, this would be a shared principal between the two schools, with a shared teacher on assignment.

Schmitt assured the board of the savings to the district, placing extra dollars back into the classroom and that there would be no negative affect on either school academically.

"We need 500 students to break even with a full-time principal and when the middle school enrollment is there, we'd return a full-time principal there."

The next board meeting is set for Feb. 3, with the work session at 6 p.m. and regular board meeting at 7 p.m. The meeting will be at the Prescott Valley Magistrate Court.

For information, contact the district at 759-4000.

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