Kep­pel District hopes bond can aid fa­cil­ity fixes

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By JULIE DRAKE Val­ley Press Staff Writer

PEARBLOSSO­M — Kep­pel Union School District ad­min­is­tra­tors will look to Mea­sure SF, a $17.9 mil­lion gen­eral obli­ga­tion bond mea­sure on the March 3 pres­i­den­tial pri­mary bal­lot, to mod­ern­ize District fa­cil­i­ties and po­ten­tially qual­ify for match­ing state funds.

The District’s school fa­cil­i­ties need to be mod­ern­ized and up­graded to meet 21 st cen­tury needs. Mea­sure SF, if suc­cess­ful, would also pay for up­grades to plumb­ing, elec­tri­cal sys­tems, im­prove­ments to stu­dent health and safety, and con­struc­tion of sup­port fa­cil­i­ties.

It would put the District in line for match­ing state funds if Propo­si­tion 13, the $15 bil­lion School and Col­lege Fa­cil­i­ties Bond also on the March 3 bal­lot, is suc­cess­ful.

The District’s gov­ern­ing Board will con­sider the es­tab­lish­ment of a com­mu­nity ben­e­fit agree­ment at a fu­ture meet­ing that could help the District to po­ten­tially get match­ing state funds should both the district’s bond mea­sure and the state mea­sure pass.

“There is a pri­or­ity if the state bond passes and we want match­ing grant funds if our bond passes,” Kep­pel Su­per­in­ten­dent Ruben Zepeda said.

School dis­tricts that have a com­mu­nity ben­e­fit agree­ment, or project la­bor agree­ment, as it is called in the state bond, would get pri­or­ity con­sid­er­a­tion for their projects, along with other fac­tors such as projects that ad­dress earth­quake risks and dis­tricts with fi­nan­cial hard­ships.

Zepeda up­dated the Board about pur­su­ing a po­ten­tial com­mu­nity ben­e­fit agree­ment at Thurs­day’s meet­ing.

“My rec­om­men­da­tion as we move for­ward is we want ev­ery ef­fort to be

able to re­ceive state bond funds once avail­able,” Zepeda said.

The District could re­ceive about $12.7 mil­lion in match­ing state funds if Mea­sure SF and Propo­si­tion 13 pass on March 3.

Mea­sure SF, if suc­cess­ful, would cost prop­erty own­ers within Kep­pel Union School District bound­aries about $30 per $100,000 of as­sessed value.

The av­er­age tax­payer is ex­pected to pay about $90 per year.

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