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RRMR facing struggles with HVAC/day care project

By Travis Fischer,

A plan to install a new HVAC system and convert some classrooms into a day care at Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock is facing new challenges following a failed bond referendum to fund the project.

The district asked voters to approve a $5.8 million bond in the general election that would allow the school to receive better financing options. However, that bond referendum failed to get the necessary 60% vote.

“I think the language on the ballot was a bit confusing,” said Superintendent Todd Liechty, who said that the bond referendum vote may have been disadvantaged by being alongside the vote to renew the Physical Plant & Equipment Levy (PPEL) in the same election.

“We put too much in front of them,” he said.

With the bond referendum failing, the district will look at its Plan B, which will be to use Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) funds, commonly known as one cent sales tax, for a SAVE revenue bond.

“That will cost more in the long run,” said Liechty. “We would have saved about $800,000 with the general obligation bond.”

However, financing the project with a general obligation bond may not be entirely off the table yet. The district cannot put a bond back on the ballot until next year, but that timing may work out as the HVAC/day care project has encountered a separate issue that could see it delayed.

Breaking the project into five parts, the district has only received bids on two of the five components. The next step for the school district will be for the project architects and engineers to get bids on the remaining three components.

“We need to look at the finances and see what the feasibility of the SAVE revenue bond is and work with the architects and engineers to figure out how we can get bids that we can afford,” said Liechty. “If the project isn’t going to happen until then, there’s a chance we may try again.”

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