VOTE November 5
The Colfax-Mingo Community School District has made great strides during its history in fulfilling its mission to "ensure a community that fosters life long learners, independent thinkers, and productive citizens of character." Part of that mission lies in recognizing opportunities for the future of all educational facilities throughout the District. Improvements remain a priority to serve an ever-expanding and diverse delivery of programs to the students of the community.
Over the past year, a District Facilities Committee, the School Board, and District Administration met to establish the foundation of a district master plan, which looks to prepare for the future of the Colfax-Mingo Community School District. Through a series of meetings, these groups have established priorities for the District moving forward. These priorities stemmed from facility assessments which aim to address areas of improvement for the district as a baseline. These District master plan priorities came in the form of new construction, renovations, and improved safety and security. These projects will be addressed with a combination of general obligation bonds and S.A.V.E. funds.
How did we get here?
Countdown to Vote!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
School Patrons, Students, Businesses, Citizens
$12M GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND
New athletic complex
New 1,200-seat stadium (football, soccer, track)
New 1,000-seat competition gym
New 3-mat wrestling room
New weight & fitness room
WHERE CAN I VOTE?
THE VISION ARTISTIC RENDERINGS
NEW WEIGHT & FITNESS, 3-MAT WRESTLING
NEW COMPETITION GYM
LOBBY OVERLOOKING THE COMPLEX
When is the election?
The election will be held on November 5, 2019. Polls will be open from 7:00AM to 8:00PM.
Where can I vote?
Registered voters can vote at their regular polling location, which is based upon where they live.
Jasper County Fairgrounds: Colfax wards one, two, and three, the City of Mitchellville, Mound Prairie Township and Washington Township
Mingo Community Building: those located in Mingo, City of Valeria, Poweshiek Township, Sherman Township, Clear Creek Township, and Independence Township.
What is being proposed?
The following question will be on the ballot: "Shall the Board of Directors of the Colfax-Mingo Community School District in the County of Jasper, State of Iowa, be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue General Obligation Boards in an amount not to exceed $12,000,000 to provide funds to construct, build, furnish, and equip an addition to the existing high school building, including a gymnasium, fitness/weight room, and wrestling room, and related remodeling; and to construct, build, furnish, and equip an athletic stadium and improve the site?"
What is the total estimated cost for the project?
The total estimated cost for the projects is approximately $18,000,000. The District would utilize revenue from the statewide sales tax (SAVE) to fund the remaining cost difference between the $12,000,000 in General Obligation Bonds and the total project cost of approximately $18,000,000. Statewide sales tax SAVE revenue is not property taxes.
If the bond issue is successful, when will construction be completed?
Construction for the stadium would be targeted to begin in Fall of 2020 and completed be August of 2021, in time for the start of the 2021-22 school year. The expected completion of the gymnasium, weight and fitness room, wrestling room, and lobby is estimated to be January 2021.
Where will the new stadium, gymnasium, weight and fitness room, and wrestling room be constructed?
On Monday, September 16th, the CMCSD Board of Education approved an agreement with the City of Colfax to accept a gift of land that allows the District to build the stadium east of the current district property line.
The CMCSD Board of Education determined that this location was best suited for the new stadium due to its proximity to existing school grounds as well as moving the stadium allows for additional parking to be added. Additionally, moving the stadium allows for the projects to take place while competition continues on current venues. The CMCSD Board of Education explored multiple options for placement of the stadium, but the advantages of this location outweighed the advantages of other locations.
The gymnasium, weight and fitness room, and wrestling room will be approximately in the same space as the current weight room facility. It will extend out near the current track. The gymnasium will be on level ground with the rest of the Jr/Sr High building. The weight and fitness room as well as the wrestling room will be a level below the gymnasium.
Why not use the land in Mingo that is currently unoccupied?
The Board of Education has a 15-year Plan that includes a new 6-8 Building at the Mingo site, assuming continued growth. The CMCSD Board of Education studied the site Mingo and determined it would not be a practical option for a separate athletic stadium, gymnasium, weight and fitness room, and wrestling practice room.
What will happen to the building in Mingo?
CMCSD currently uses the gymnasium attached to Mingo building to support athletics.
Alternative uses for the Mingo building are still being explored.
Does the bond issue require a "supermajority" to pass?
Yes. The question on the ballot requires a 60% supermajority "yes" vote to pass.
If the bond issue passes, how will it impact my property taxes?
In April 2019, the CMCSD Board of Education set the property tax rate for fiscal year 2020 maintaining a tax rate consistent with prior fiscal years. CMCSD's debt service levy (the levy that supports capital projects) has been set to remain at $4.05/thousand. The passage is expected to have neutral impact on the school tax levy rate.
How is it possible to pass a bond issue and not have a tax rate increase?
The bond for the new stadium, gymnasium, weight and fitness room, and wrestling room will be assigned to the debt service levy. The debt service levy is one part of the total school tax rate, which also includes the General, PPEL, and Management funds. Each of the levies independently
How was the 15-year plan created?
The CMCSD Board of Education asked for volunteers to participate on a Master Facilities Committee. The committee met multiple times over the course of a year to develop a list of priorities for the district to address. The Board of Education took these recommendations and created a three-phase timeline that addressed the priorities recommended. Some priorities were shifted between phases in order to remain fiscally responsible with public tax dollars.
Will tax levy rates decrease if the bond fails?
Eventually, over time, this could be a possibility. Each year, property tax rates are reviewed to determine budget needs and responsible fiscal projections. In the future, CMCSD Board of Education may determine to keep tax levy rates at the same level in order to pay off existing debt sooner.
If the bond passes, can the list of construction items change?
No. The bond monies must be used towards the major projects listed. Still, there has not been any use of general obligation bond funds to this point to have architects create specific plans. Those plans will be created if the bond passes.
How will the referendum benefit academics?
There is a significant body of research that would suggest that student involvement in extra-curricular activities improves student academic success. CMCSD has passed prior bond issues that addressed academic needs throughout the district. To this point, there has not been a bond issue supporting extra-curricular activities.
Additionally, all of the proposed new spaces will be utilized by our physical education department to meet curricular requirements and support the physical wellness of all our students.
How much will each portion of the project cost?
CONCEPT COST BUDGET
New Athletic Addition (approx. 34,500 SF) $7.9M
Gym 1,000 seats, Wrestling (3 mats), Fitness, Weights $30K
Demolish Existing Weights/Wrestling $5M
New Football/Soccer Stadium
Northeast/Southwest orientation unknown
Requires collaboration/land swap with City $750K
Additional Site Development $750K
New Concessions $900K
Demo Football Field $100K
Practice Field Development $70K
Existing Softball Field to remain $0
Existing Baseball Field to remain $0
Expanded Parking with entry off N. League Rd $392K
approx. 112 stalls
ES/HS Deferred Maintenance $735K
Future Academic Expansion $0 (Future)
TOTAL CONSTRUCTION VALUE $15.9M
SOFT COSTS $2.7M
What is the difference between "levy" and "property taxes"?
LEVY: A levy is the rate per $1,000 of taxable property value that a governmental entity such as a city, school, or county auditor each year to generate revenues.
PROPERTY TAXES: Property taxes is the dollar amount determined by multiplying the levy per $1,000 by the taxable valuation.
What is the difference between a "bond" and "levy"?
BOND: Bonds for government organizations are like a capital loan for a business or a mortgage for a homeowner. The bond holder or investor loans the school district funds at a competitive interest rate and the District repays the bond, with annual interest payments, over a period of 10 to 20 years. State law requires voter approval prior to the District selling any bonds for new general obligation bonds for the purpose of facility construction and furnishing. Schools cannot bond proceeds for operational expenses.
LEVY: A levy is an annual tax rate certified by a school district to raise or continue property taxes for a limited number of years to generate the cash required to make the annual principal and interest payment to repay the bond or loan.
Why can't our existing budget or other funds be used for the projects?
Other funds - sales tax (SAVE) & PPEL - are being committed to the overall scope. General fund monies are used for the ongoing expenses (primarily salaries and benefits of teachers and staff) of the District. The scope of this proposed project is large enough that it requires the use of general obligation bond in addition to those other funding sources.
What is the Satellite Absentee Voting Station?
There will be an opportunity for "early voting" for registered voters of the school district on Friday, October 11. Satellite voting provides in-person absentee voting at other places other than the auditor's office. Voters must mark the absentee ballot at the satellite station and leave it with the officials. You cannot take the ballot home with you.