December 2, 2016

Carroll voters now have a number to consider when they visit polls in February to decide whether to finance a new athletic complex.

Five million dollars.

During a special meeting on Thursday, the Carroll School Board unanimously decided to borrow $1 million against future sales revenue and set aside $250,000 more from sales tax revenue each year for the next three years to bring the bond down from $6.2 million.

Even though the board is contributing $1.75 million total, the bond only reduces $1.2 million because of interest payments.

If approved by voters, the so-called physical plant and equipment levy will add 67 cents per $1,000 of property valuation each year for a ten-year period beginning July 1, 2017.

The levy could generate about $6.3 million over that time period. Based on estimates, the district would gain an extra $432,000 beyond construction costs, which could be used to pay back the debt more quickly.

“That’s what the good faith relationship we have with the community is about,” board member Brad Jorgensen said. “We need to be responsible to only use this money for what it’s intended. If we have extra money left you have to trust us to use it to buy that debt down faster.”

The board has the power to lower the rate each year if home valuation increases or the project finishes or comes in under budget, but the board may not raise it above the 67 cent rate.

“You can lower that depending on the circumstances, or cancel it all together,” Superintendent Rob Cordes told the board. “But you can’t raise it or extend it if you don’t levy enough.”

The average home in Carroll is valued at approximately $125,000. If the levy passes it would cost $44.44 per year for an average homeowner.

The levy would provide funds to demolish the current stadium on North Grant Road and replace the field, track, seating and amenities. The new football field would be turf and the total capacity of the stadium would be around 2,700.

The board also adopted a policy that would make the stadium open to the public from dawn to dusk.

Members of the Kuemper School Board have said they’re optimistic they will contribute to the project as well, but nothing has been finalized.

Jorgensen said anything Kuemper contributes can be earmarked for specific parts of the project, but the money would be used to pay down the debt more quickly, resulting in lower tax rates or a shorter time frame for the levy.

The measure will go to a vote on Feb. 2.