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D91 $33 million levy set for May vote

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Idaho Falls School District 91 is trying a new method to secure money to build an elementary school on the south side of town.

The Board of Trustees has approved putting a 10 year, $33 million plant facilities levy on the May ballot. The levy approach differs from a bond.

Instead of getting all the money up front from a bond, this approach would allow the district to levy for $3.3 million a year over ten years. District 91 trustee Hillary Radcliffe explains the next step:

"A bank trust company will then lease us the money to give us some money to build a new facility, which we will then use that $3.2 million a year to pay back that lease like on a lease to own. That's kind of how I've seen it described. And at the end of ten years, we'll own the building," Radcliffe said.

Lisa Keller of D91 Taxpayers, a local tax watch dog group, says they "absolutely recognize" the need for a new elementary school; however, she would "much rather see it presented as a bond, where the interest rates are better."

Keller says the group's ultimate concern is about transparency. "It doesn't mater how they get the money, if they are using it irresponsibly, we don't approve."

The levy is set for a May 17 vote and will require 55% voter approval to pass.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Stephanie Lucas


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