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Castaic Union plans to issue bonds in spring

Superintendent praises voters for approving school funding measure

Posted: November 13, 2012 6:01 p.m.
Updated: November 13, 2012 6:01 p.m.

When Castaic-area voters approved the Measure QS bond sale last week, they gave the Castaic Union School District access to $51 million for improvements, repairs and upkeep.

District Superintendent James Gibson said Tuesday the money provides a much-needed lifeline during uncertain economic times.

The district has already absorbed about $6 million in budget cuts since 2008, Gibson said. While voters’ approval of Proposition 30 means the district no longer has to deal with the immediate threat of additional state cuts, Gibson said many planned improvement projects would not be possible without funding from Measure QS.

“The margin by which (Measure QS) passed gives a great feeling that the community was definitely behind us,” Gibson said. “That was a wonderful feeling,”

Measure QS passed with 64.48 percent of the vote. A 55 percent majority was required for passage.

The measure authorizes the Castaic Union School District to issue $51 million in general obligation bonds, which will be funded via a property tax. That tax will amount to an estimated $19 per $100,000 of assessed annual property value, according to the bond proposal.

All of the projects that Measure QS funds will be used for were included in the bond application.

They include construction of additional classroom buildings at Castaic Elementary School, Live Oak Elementary School and North Hills Elementary School.

Other major projects are the construction of new locker room facilities at Castaic Middle School and installing renewable energy and energy-saving devices, such as solar panels, at all district school facilities.

Gibson said the district is reviewing financial plans and estimated it will bring its bonds to market next spring. This would be ideal, Gibson said, because he wants to begin moving forward with projects immediately to give residents a visual reminder of what their tax dollars pay for.

“We want voters to see that work has already started and work is going forward,” Gibson said.




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