ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - In the next month, Anchorage residents will be voting by mail for the first time, and one of the many items on the ballot will be school bonds.
Nearly 25 percent of Anchorage School District facilities are more than 50 years old, and the District wants to see some of its buildings upgraded. A $50 million bond package is being put before Anchorage voters. The Anchorage School District says that's the minimum amount needed to keep kids safe and secure.
There are 15 schools that will be helped by this bond proposal, which includes nearly $30 million toward roof replacement for five schools, more than $3 million toward roof improvements for an additional seven facilities, and more than $17 million for fire suppression, safety, and code upgrades at two more locations.
"A lot of the questions that I've received about the bond is what are the impacts of it, what will it cost taxpayers. And what that means to taxpayers is for the average household it's $20 for this bond spread over a number of years," Fenoseff said.
According to Fenoseff, the average home value in Anchorage is just over $350,000, which means it would cost an average of $20 a year for 20-25 years per average household value. Fenoseff says that most, if not all of the roofs for the 92 facilities in the Anchorage School District have outlived their expected life.
"And those are critical roof projects needed now because we're having problems with those roofs. They get leaks," said Fenoseff.
One of the biggest hurdles for the ASD is the fact that the state no longer reimburses school districts for bonds approved by local votes, meaning that taxpayers have to foot the bill.