Georgetown-Ridge Farm bond issue likely

GEORGETOWN — School officials said Monday they were moving forward with projects to raise funds for the district, demolish two vacant properties, review a recent community survey and improve Internet accessibility in the school buildings.

Georgetown-Ridge Farm School Superintendent Jean Neal said the school board would likely meet and take action soon on a resolution to issue up to $1.25 million in bonds for the district.

Board members have talked for months about a plan to borrow money for the district against future revenues by issuing up to $1 million in new working-cash bonds to act as an internal bank account for the district, and by issuing up to $250,000 in life-safety bonds to pay for specific repairs or improvements to district buildings, such as installing new front doors and resurfacing the parking lot at Pine Crest Elementary School, doing tuckpointing work and installing new bleachers at Mary Miller Junior High School, and replacing a boiler and replacing some windows at Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School.

Board members also hope to refinance up to $165,000 in existing funding bonds that were issued at higher interest rates — all without raising the property tax rate in the district by making the new and refinanced bonds due in 2018.

Neal said that the board would likely hold a special meeting in the next few weeks to consider and possibly take action on the bond proposals.

Neal also said that asbestos has been removed at a vacant, district-owned house near Pine Crest Elementary, and that the district had applied for a demolition permit for the house through the City of Georgetown. If the permit is granted, Neal said the house would be demolished and removed in the next month or so.

Neal said the responses to an Internet survey to gauge what community members thought about the current state of their school district, what steps they thought would improve their district, and whether they thought the Westville and Georgetown-Ridge Farm school boards should continue to talk and explore a merger of the two districts have been received, and that school officials from both districts would meet soon to review the results.

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