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Local

Board to vote on $6.85M bonds

District projects coming along

DIXON – The Dixon School Board plans to vote on taking out $6.85 million in bonds next month to pay for increased construction costs, and residents can expect a slight hike to their property taxes. 

Part of the amount will come from $2.5 million in health life safety bonds, adding to more than $21 million the previous board approved in early 2017 for required upgrades at Dixon High School as well as Washington and Jefferson elementary schools.

The district plans to pay the bonds back across 10 years, which is estimated to increase property taxes by $21.69 for a $100,000 home, but the final cost won’t be determined until the actual bond sale when the interest is computed, district Business Manager David Blackburn said.

Masonry, plaster and paint work along interior surfaces at Dixon High School, as well as stage rigging structure work at the school’s Wiltz Auditorium, have exceeded the 2017 estimate of $7.2 million, Blackburn said, hence the need to issue more bonds to afford the work.

At Dixon High School, the onslaught of construction upgrades in the past 2 years includes installing a geothermal heating and cooling system, restoring exterior masonry, replacing windows, upgrading electricals and plumbing, installing drop-tile ceiling, removing asbestos, installing floors, upgrading intercoms, remodeling offices and adding a secure vestibule.

The remaining $4.35 million needed to cover costs will come from alternate revenue bonds the district pays back with revenue from the 1 percent sales tax increase voters approved in 2016.

The board approved issuing up to $15 million in those bonds in January 2018, but only used $10.65 million.

Completed work from those funds includes geothermal work and a elevator at Washington School. Current work, scheduled to be completed this summer, includes well drilling for geothermal work at Jefferson School and high school annexes, as well as elevator installation at Jefferson.

Exterior brick work is underway at Jefferson as well as interior work on the school’s new gymnasium, which includes wall painting and installation of gym equipment. Lighting and a drop ceiling installation is planned for April. Completion remains scheduled for May.

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