ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Anchorage voters approved a $58 million bond to pay for maintenance and construction projects across a handful of schools in the Anchorage School District.
Proposition 1 was the most expensive bond on the ballot, but it still passed by a large margin of more than 5,000 votes. ASD officials said they’re relieved the list of projects the superintendent described as “essential” was approved, especially after residents narrowly rejected ASD’s bond proposal in 2016.
“This is a victory not only for our educational system and facilities, but for the citizens of Anchorage too," said school board president Tam Agosti-Gisler. "These are taxpayer facilities, and it's important to keep them up to date and repaired and in good condition for a safe and secure educational environment.”
The bond will go towards replacing eight different roofs district-wide (King Career Center, Muldoon Elementary, Northwood ABC Elementary, Nunaka Valley Elementary, Rogers Park Elementary, Student Nutrition Facility, West High and Willow Crest Elementary), as well as three replacements of heating and ventilation systems (Rogers Park Elementary, Willow Crest Elementary and West High) and structural and seismic improvements to West High and Romig Middle Library.
“They're not fancy projects,” said superintendent Deena Bishop. “We're not shooting for the moon. We're shooting for keeping our infrastructure safe and investing in it now, so we don't have to invest more into the future.”
To pay off the new bond, Anchorage taxpayers will spend $11.67 per $100,000 in assessed property value annually. But according to ASD, recently retired bond debt from previous years means district-related taxes will still be decreasing.
According to ASD, retired debt amounts to $11.79 in tax relief. So with the additional $11.67 passing in Prop. 1, overall taxes will be decreasing $0.12.
The Anchorage School District has one opportunity per year to ask voters to approve new bond debt.