In 2013 the Colchester community approved a $5 million bond issue to support a significant upgrade of the science labs at Colchester High School. That work has now been completed and as importantly, was $730,000 under budget.
Under Title 24 V.S.A. § 1753(a), when such a balance exists, it states:
“if a balance remains after the completion of the project” for which the bond was authorized, the school district “by a majority of the voters present and voting on the question at a meeting . . . held for that purpose, may authorize the expenditure of the proceeds or portion thereof for any purpose or purposes for which bonds may be issued.” The statute dictates that if unused proceeds are not re-purposed with the authorization of a majority of the voters, then the proceeds shall be used to pay the principal of the loan as it matures.
In the district’s long term planning for needed capital projects, the next priority would have been the renovation of the theater in the high school. With this balance the district has the opportunity to complete this next project without requesting additional funds from the community.
On January 19, 2016, the Colchester School Board approved a motion to include with the budget vote on March 1, 2016 the following item:
“I move that the remaining balance of the bonds authorized for the completed science project in an amount not to exceed $730,000 be allocated for the purpose of renovating the school theater.”
The Colchester School District works hard to ensure the tax dollars they receive from all sources are used effectively and efficiently. This is one more example of those efforts. The Board of Education now hopes it can address another need without requesting added revenue to complete it.