Washoe Co. schools seek capital projects funding solution

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Updated: 1/14/2013 6:16 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4,com) - With just a few weeks before the legislative session starts, Washoe County School District leaders are asking lawmakers to pass a bill which could impact the safety and educational quality of students.

90 percent of campuses in Washoe county are 30 years or older and in need of major repairs. But the district can't fix the problem because they are predicting zero incoming dollars for facility improvements over the next 8 years due to the way state law is set up.

The only legal avenue to get that money is by selling bonds backed by income from property taxes - however home prices have fallen so low here, that's no longer finically possible. The state has four other funding mechanisms set up, but Washoe County can't use those though because we don't meet the population requirements under the current codes.

“It's something legislators have to take notice of and see if we can cobble together some sort of solution,” Assemblyman Pat Hickey said.

Hickey adds Washoe County has a bill draft request to change those population requirements, but it might not be an easy sell because it could result in higher taxes for some.

“Legislatures if they hear enough from the public in Washoe County, that they believe this is needed here, then it will have a better chance,” he said.
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valleymike - 1/15/2013 7:47 AM
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Didn't the voters pass a capitol improvement bond a few years back? And if the repairs are covered by just property taxes, why weren't these capitol improvements included in the planning process. A 30+ year old boiler is not something that happens. Long term intra-structure support of the schools is a must, but as a taxpayer, I would like to see a stable long term plan that lays out the improvements and stable funding (for the school district & taxpayer) to keep the schools in good repair.

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