MCC to organize community forum for bond issuance | New
SCOTTVILLE – The public will have another opportunity to learn more about Mason County Central’s plans to apply for a facility deposit at an upcoming community forum.
The forum will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27 in the school cafeteria.
Superintendent Jeff Mount provided an update on the bonding process and forum at the Education Council meeting on Monday.
“We are pursuing a link, and that means a lot of work,” he said. “Right now we are working on the scope of what this looks like. “
Mount said the project is still in the planning stages and the information shared at the forum will be a “10,000-foot view” of what the district hopes to achieve, but the metrics are starting to take shape.
Mount said there had recently been meetings of the building and grounds committee and the administrative team to flesh out some aspects of the proposal. This information will be presented during the forum.
“We’ll be sharing more and more… and we want to ask the public for their opinion,” Mount said.
There will be a slideshow presentation, and representatives from GMB Architecture & Engineering and Christman Construction, both of whom help the district plan obligations, will also be on site.
Once the forum is over, an investigation will be launched into the bond issues, and Mount said he hopes everyone will take the time to respond.
“This will ask specific questions regarding the link and what was shared in the forum. We want you to take a look at it and give your opinion, and I think this is a very good opportunity to do so, ”he told the audience at Monday’s meeting. “We will really appreciate the comments. “
The survey will be sent via the MCC mobile app and will also be available on the district website at www.mccschools.org.
Mount said the goal is to finalize a proposal later in the fall or early winter.
“The final phase (is) that we hope to submit this to the Treasury Department in November or December, with approval in January,” Mount said. “We have to do it to have it on the ballot. “
At previous forums in June and July, the district identified several priorities, including the construction of a performing arts center and various building and security improvements. The district discussed a 25-year bond of $ 25 million to $ 30 million and the possibility of asking voters to approve a $ 1 million tax increase for residents. That would translate to an additional $ 4.17 per month for most taxpayers in the district, according to Dan LaMore of Christman Construction.
Mount spoke about the drop in registrations recorded during the fall count day.
The district reported 1,197 students from 1,212 in fall 2020 – a drop of 15 students for the fall, but an increase of four students from spring 2021.
Mount said it wasn’t enough to have a drastic impact on funding, but there is some effect nonetheless.
“It impacts the budget,” Mount said. “When you have funding per student, the budget matters. “
He said some of the decreases in high school are still in the school district, but fall under different funding silos.
“Six of our seniors went to ASM Tech, so they’re not funded per student anymore,” he said. “And, we had 24 registrations in our Spartan Academy (which is also not funded per student), which skews our numbers a bit.”
Directors also heard the MCC annual audit report from Julie Berkes of Dennis Garland & Niergarth. Berkes called to review the audit with the board.
Mount said the assessment was positive.
“It was a faultless audit with the highest rating, so that was to be expected. We have a long history of this, ”Mount said. “Our fund balance has been growing steadily since 2015. It’s a good place and it gives us money to do things like the roof repairs we are planning (for buildings all over the neighborhood) and other things. that we wouldn’t have to do. ask taxpayers.
The MCC fund balance is $ 16,051,406.
According to Mount, some things skewed the numbers a bit, like the money used to pay off 2006-07 Qualified Zone bond loans, and about $ 1 million MCC received from the federal government for COVID-19 relief. .
Berkes said the district’s per-student spending was slightly above the state average, while its support services spending was below the state average.
“We try to minimize the amount spent on things that are not in the classroom,” Mount said.
Berkes pointed out that the district has its “right priorities” in this regard.
Also on Monday, the school board approved MCC’s virtual class and adult education offerings. The board also approved some minor changes to the high school curriculum guide, including the return of a Spanish class following the hiring of Ana Quinteros in July.