Trustees of the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board are asking voters to approve a $46 million bond package for capital projects in November. The bonds would be supported by a 20-year rededication of 10 mills of the district’s 18-mill property tax.
Currently all 18 mills are dedicated to debt service. The district, which is located about 25 miles west of New Orleans, lowered the rate from 22 mills in June.
If voters approve the plan in November, the district will dedicate the other 8 mills of the property tax to other applications for 10 years, including 1 mill for retiree health benefits, 4 mills for salaries and benefits, and 3 mills for academic improvements.
The district currently pays about $4.2 million a year in debt service.
An engineering consultant hired by the district said it would cost $30 million to repair and upgrade the district’s 16 schools. A final report on each of the district’s facilities is expected by Oct. 16.
Preliminary estimates showed most schools required repairs with a total cost ranging between $1 million and $2 million. However, one high school needed up to $7.7 million for repairs and another needed $4 million.
The district’s general obligation bonds are rated A-plus by Standard & Poor’s.