It is time for the community to get involved helping plan out Yuma School District-1’s $32 million renovation/expansion project.

Yuma-1 will be hosting public gatherings Monday and Tuesday, December 2-3, with all of it taking place in the Yuma High School auditorium. Both days are being advertised as Yuma-1 Board of Education Work Sessions as the board members will be involved.

It begins Monday at 5:30 p.m. with a “Conditions of Satisfaction” meeting. Staff, students and community members are encouraged to attend to provide input. An introduction will be from 5:30 to 6, followed by establishing conditions of satisfaction from 6 to 7:30, and then a preview of the next day’s activities from 7:30 to 8.

A series of sessions will be held all day Tuesday in the auditorium. Community members are encouraged to participate, and must sign in at the auditorium entrance. Sessions are set up so that community members can come for individual sessions and/or attend throughout the day. Anyone who participates at any point during the day is encouraged to attend the final check-in at 3:40 p.m.

Tuesday’s sessions are as follows:

• Introduction and kick-off, 7:30 to 8 a.m.

• Design Work Session No. 1, plus check-in, 8 to 9:25 a.m.

• Design Work Session No. 2, plus check-in, 9:30 to 11 a.m.

• Student check-in and input (during advisement period), 11:04 to 11:40 a.m.

• Lunch break, 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Design Work Session No. 3, plus check-in, 12:30 to 1:55 p.m.

• Design Work Session No. 4, 2 to 3:40 p.m.

• Final check-in (after school), 3:40 to 4 p.m.

Tax impact to be less than originally forecasted

The property tax impact from the Yuma School District-1 $16 million bond issue will be less than originally thought.

Figures presented prior to the election were based on a 3.5 percent interest rate on the bonds.

However, when the bonds — or Certificates of Participation — were sold last week they carried an effective interest rate of 2.95 percent, which passes through to Yuma-1’s matching money bonds.

It means less to those who purchased the Certificates of Participation, but good news to the district and its property tax payers.

The repayment by the district over the next 20 years will be $1.1 million less than had the rate been 3.5 percent, which in turns means that much less paid in property taxes.

Therefore, the property tax increase will be less than what was indicated by the figures presented before the election.

The residential impact will be $43 annually per $100,000 of value, rather than $46.56.

Commercial impact will be $174.71 per $100,000 of value, instead of $188.83.

Following is the different on ag land, per quarter section:

• Irrigated, $243.78 instead of $253.62.

• Dry Farm Land, $59.44 instead of $61.84.

• Grazing Land, $22.86 instead of $23.79.

• Other Ag Land, $275.35 instead of $286.46.

It is not a huge amount, but every penny saved is a penny earned, right?

BEST bond issue not like others

A bond issue involving a BEST Grant is not like other bond issues.

Normally, a voter-approved bond issue for a school project involves the bonds being sold through a banking institution, with an opportunity for locals to purchase bonds.

Voters approved Yuma School District-1’s $16 million bond issue ballot question earlier this month, providing the matching funds for the $16 million Building Excellent Schools Together Grant the district was awarded by the state last May.

As explained by Yuma-1 Board member Duane Brown, in these type of instances, the state will issue $168.5 million in Certificates of Participation, including $32 million for the Yuma-1 project. The interest rate was set November 20, and the COPs made available. Brown said the COPs tend to be purchased in big blocks by such entities as mutual funds and insurance companies.

Leases and sub-leases also are involved.

Yuma-1 is leasing to the state the existing Yuma High School — except for The Pit — as well as the yet-to-be-built new wing as additional collateral for the BEST funds. Brown explained that the state wants collateral equaling 90 to 110 percent of the project, based on the land and building value. The Pit was carved out because it would have put it up around 130 percent

The State Treasurer, which issues the Certificates of Participation, holds the lease.

Yuma-1 then sub-leases the property back from the State Treasurer. The district’s annual bond debt payments will go to the state, to pay “rent” on the sub-lease.

The sub-lease includes reporting requirements for the district during the project, including records of costs and progress reports. Yuma-1’s owner’s representative, Project One, will handle most of the reporting requirements.

After the project is completed, the district will be required to continue to provide annual reports in regards to maintenance and operations. The district also will be required to fund a capital reserve account of approximately $100,00 annually.

In 20 years, when the last bond debt payment is made to the state, the leases and all the reporting requirements go away, and the district will own the property outright.

Brown said the $32 million for the project will be available on December 5 through Zions Bancorporation, at which point the district can begin spending those funds.