Government / Politics

Primary Election 2020: School Bond Measures L, M and R

SBHS, Aromas-San Juan Unified and Cabrillo seek millions in funding.

San Benito County voters will decide the fate of three school bond measures in the March 3 primary election. They are Measure L (San Benito High School District), Measure M (Aromas-San Juan Unified School District) and Measure R (Cabrillo Community College District). All three need at least 55% approval to pass.

Complete information for each measure is on the San Benito County Register of Voters website

 

Measure L 

San Benito County Counsel’s impartial analysis of Measure L is here.

The San Benito High School District Board of Trustees placed Measure L on the ballot to seek $30 million in bonds to finance construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation and/or replacement of school facilities.

According to the full ballot text approved by the school board, funds from the bond measure would be used for the following project list broken down into three categories:

Category 1: Projects to enhance 21st-century learning environments and foster collaboration, group learning and building community.

  • Abate and demolish the old career technical education building to allow for construction of a new multi-purpose building that includes a student union, cafeteria, restrooms and student quad with outdoor amphitheater, seating, drought-tolerant landscaping, and features to promote assemblies and gatherings. 
  • Demolish the maintenance and operations building to improve safety and circulation of students on campus; relocate and reconstruct maintenance, operations and transportation building, including shop and warehouse building, bus and district vehicle parking and yard, including charging stations for electric school buses, and fencing.
  • Demolish old, unused portable classrooms

Category 2: Projects to improve student and campus safety and security.

  • Install or replace safety and security systems, which may include installation of door locks, controlled access systems, fencing, gates, signage, and fencing 

Category 3: Projects to modernize utility infrastructure and install energy-efficient systems.

  • Install new photovoltaic panels and energy efficiency systems to generate clean energy and reduce utility costs 

According to a tax rate statement prepared by the district, the estimated average annual tax needed to repay the principal and interest would be $13 per $100,000 of assessed value, generating $1,650,000 annually. The estimated maximum tax rate is $20 per $100,000 of assessed value. The tax is anticipated to be collected until fiscal year 2049-50. The district estimates the total amount repayable during the life of the bond, including principal and interest, will be approximately $49,500,000.

 

Measure M 

San Benito County Counsel’s impartial analysis of Measure M is here.

The Aromas-San Juan Unified School District Board of Trustees placed Measure M on the ballot to reauthorize the issuance of $4.2 million in bonds for renovation/repair/upgrade projects, in addition to safety and security.

According to the full ballot text, funds would go to two categories:

Category 1: school renovation, repair and upgrade projects 

  • Undertake seismic and earthquake safety upgrades and repair
  • Repair/replace existing plumbing systems, including drainage
  • Renovate, repair, expand and/or upgrade the interior, exterior and/or infrastructure of existing classrooms and school facilities
  • Repair and upgrade roofs, ceilings, walls, and floors
  • Replace existing wiring systems to meet current electrical and accessibility codes and increased capacity
  • Renovate and repair restrooms
  • Replace existing window systems with energy-efficient systems
  • Repair or replace outdated temporary portable classrooms

Category 2: school site health, safety and security projects 

  • Upgrade or replace buildings that do not meet current minimum building code standards
  • Remove dry rot and repair damage caused by dry rot
  • Replace/upgrade existing signage, bells, clocks and fire protection systems
  • Install, repair, upgrade, or replace safety and security systems for students and staff
  • Abate and remove hazardous materials identified prior to or during construction

If Measure M is approved, the district intends to cancel $4.2 million in bonds authorized by district voters on Nov. 2, 2010 with the passage of Measure Z that remain unissued.

According to a tax rate statement prepared by the district, the estimated average annual tax needed to repay the principal and interest would be $19.60 per $100,000 of assessed value, generating $455,000 annually. The estimated maximum tax rate is $45.10 per $100,000 of assessed value. The tax is anticipated to be collected until fiscal year 2030-31. The estimated maximum total debt service is approximately $5 million.

 

Measure R 

San Benito County Counsel’s impartial analysis of Measure R is here.

Measure R affects a small portion of San Benito voters in the northwest corner of the county in Aromas and at the Monterey-Santa Cruz county line.

The Cabrillo Community College District Board of Trustees placed Measure R on the ballot to authorize over $274 million in bonds to modernize aging classrooms and technology/science labs, upgrade outdated wiring and sewer lines, and acquire, construct, and/or repair sites, facilities, and equipment. The district estimates that the bond would generate approximately $17 million annually.

The district has submitted a bond project list within the full body of the measure. The types of projects funded may include, but are not limited to:

  • Upgrading career and vocational classrooms
  • Updating science, technology, engineering, and math labs
  • Providing facilities for student support services, tutoring, and counseling
  • Replacing outdated electrical wiring and sewer lines
  • Improving accessibility to classrooms for persons with disabilities
  • Improving energy and water efficiency through the campus
  • Upgrading college safety and security systems, such as fire alarms and cameras

At the time of filing, the district estimated both the average and highest tax rate to be levied at approximately $18.85 per $100,000 of assessed property value per year.

 

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Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018 and covers Science and the Environment and Arts and Culture.