A second attempt by the Mineral County School District to obtain an endorsement of a rollover of the current school bond from county commissioners failed.
The bond represents about 35 cents of the $3.66 per thousand dollars assessed value Mineral County property owners pay in taxes. The bond is nearing the end of its cycle and the school district hopes to roll it over, thereby saving them time and the process of writing out a new bond proposal.
The representatives attempted to explain the ways the school bond rollover, which is in effect a 10-year continuation of the current 20-year bond, would benefit both the school district and students.
The commissioners remained unconvinced, citing the counties lack of funds for infrastructure and questioning the acute need of some of the capital projects expenditures.
Mineral County school board chairman Mark Nixon said:
“I understand and appreciate the commissioner’s point of view, but at the same time I have to look out for the welfare of these kids. That’s my job and that’s how I feel about it.
“The bond issue is nothing but a rollover. In no way will it increase taxes—actually, it’s lower than has been paid. It gives us capital project funds so we can replace some of the old, old infrastructure that we have.”
Capital projects money is money earmarked for physical projects such as replacing the boilers or the roof on a building.
“The way the state is currently funding schools, there’s no way to use it for capital projects—there’s just no way. It’s all we can do to keep the educational program running. This is a major concern for us,” Nixon said. “For example, the administration building was built in the 50s and still has mostly original plumbing in it. It’s been deteriorating over the years, and it’s getting expensive to just keep fixing. Rather than trying to float an new bond issue, or strip the educational program, the bond gives us a method to do capital repairs.
“With the commissioners, I at least thought it prudent to open up a conversation with them. If they elect not to endorse us, that’s their prerogative; but at the same time, it was disturbing to hear one of the commissioner’s say, ‘Let’s just close the school and bus the kids to Yerington.’ That’s not an option—it doesn’t fly with me,” Nixon said.
“I’m going to go ahead and try to move forward with it and put it before the public and see where it goes. I will do my best to sell it and explain it to the public. “