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November 24, 2017

Farmington School District seeks to extend debt


Farmington School District seeks to extend debt

FARMINGTON — The School District is asking voters to allow extending its debt for Phase 3 constructon of the Farmington…


FARMINGTON — The School District is asking voters to allow extending its debt for Phase 3 constructon of the Farmington High School campus.

The School District collects a 42.6-mill property tax, of which 25 mills is dedicated to general maintenance and operation and 17.6 mills is dedicated to paying off debt.

The district is asking voters to allow it to extend the 17.6 mills another 12 years from 2036 to 2048.

The question to extend debt will be on Tuesday’s school election ballot. Farmington voters will have two options on the ballot, either “For Tax” or “Against Tax.” If approved, the total property tax rate would remain the same at 42.6 mills.

Polls will be open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Registered voters can cast ballots at any of the election centers that day. In Farmington, voters can go to Main Street Baptist Church.

“All we would be doing is extending the debt out,” said Bryan Law, district superintendent. “It’s the same as going from a 15-year note on a house to a 30-year note.”

If voters approve extending debt, the school is proposing to issue $4.5 million in bonds with the money to go for “erecting and equipping new facilities and making additions and improvements to existing facilities.”

Specifically, the School Board is proposing to use the money to pay for Phase 3 of the high school campus. Phase 3 includes football, soccer and track facilities.

Law said his goal is to finish the high school campus without a millage increase.

“I hope voters are happy and satisfied we’ve been able to provide a $30 million school without asking for a millage increase,” he said.

School officials estimate Phase 3 will cost up to $6 million for dirt work, track and field facilities, football/soccer stadium, turf surface, concession stand and bathrooms, press box, parking lot and other amenities.

The cost doesn’t include an indoor practice facility. Law said he hopes the project will be able to include the indoor facility at this time but isn’t sure yet.

Farmington would pay for Phase 3 with proceeds from a new bond issue and money from its building reserve. The balance is about $2 million, according to Mandy Uher, district treasurer.

David Faught with Stephens Inc. of Fayetteville said the district would offer bonds on or around Oct. 26, if the debt extension passes on the ballot, and close the transaction Dec. 12.

According to preliminary design plans for Phase 3, the new facilities will be on 15-20 acres in the northwest corner of the high school, with the football field and separate track both running north to south.

Mark Haguewood with Hight Jackson Associates said the football/soccer stadium would seat 2,500 on the home side and 1,500 on the visitor’s side. A 170-foot by 20-foot concession stand/bathroom facility will be on the north end of the football field. The stadium will have a two-story press box.

An indoor practice facility with office space and locker rooms would be on the south end of the football field.

Football and soccer locker rooms and storage would be underneath the home stands, with a smaller, separate concession area and locker room available for track. Visiting teams will go to locker rooms under the visitor’s stands.

The track will have bleachers to seat 500 fans, with a small press box above the stands.

NW News on 09/15/2017


Source: NWA Online Northwest Arkansas News Farmington School District seeks to extend debt

Farmington School District seeks to extend debt

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