CPS superintendent says now is the right time to pass bond

Canton Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Ingram and high school principal, Jason Wallace, met with Canton Chamber of Commerce last week, followed by Ingram holding a public meeting the following day, to discuss the upcoming school bond issue. Residents vote on the $3.1 mil. bond Sept.

10. Ingram reported that the previous bond issue failed last spring by only three votes, with the percentage of voters in favor of the bond coming in at 59.8 %. Passing the bond required a total of 60% in favor.

The push to promote the bond last week focused mostly on the numbers, with Ingram stating that now is the time to vote this bond in. Purportedly, since 1993, there has been a 7.82% increase in the district’s valuation, with a 17.86% increase since 2015. According to written documentation, the valuation has also increased since last year, going from $57,010,914 to $73,785,592. Ingram stated that this means more bond money for less taxes, with an estimated tax increase of four to five percent. According to Ingram, property tax increases will therefore be minimal. Estimates reveal that for previous taxes totaling $500, the annual increase will only be $25.03. This means a monthly increase of $2.09.

“We don’t ever wanna go backwards or sit still. Other people around us are building like crazy, and if we want our community to stay strong, our school to stay strong, we need to look at our capital improvements,” Ingram said. “So, this is a really good time… [We] wanna strike while the iron’s hot and do some things while we can.”

CPS intends to use the bond to fund multiple school projects, such as constructing a new field house. The current field house is in a state that was previously referred to by Ingram as severe disrepair. Plumbing and electric are reportedly defective and largely beyond repair. Additionally, Ingram stated that in order to bring the current facilities up to code, they would have to be completely redone, costing more than building from scratch due to the extent of the work involved. Other projects include replacing the lights, light fixtures and poles for the football stadium. The existing poles are rotting and considered a safety hazard, and the work would provide new transformers, LED lights and metal poles, along with running the wires underground instead of overhead. The roof on the North wing of the high school building needs replaced due to leakage that causes classes to be relocated went it rains. The Vocational Agriculture Shop will also be expanded, furnished and equipped using this bond, if passed. Ingram expressed previously that this is important due to a need for more room for the students. Finally, the bond will assist with installing fencing around the elementary playground and adding more equipment to it as well.

Should the bond pass, CPS will use a construction management company, Joe D. Hall, for the projects. Ingram stated that when this company gives an estimate for the work, CPS will not pay more than the estimate, even if construction costs exceed it. Additionally, if the work comes in under budget, the extra money is returned to the district to be used as desired by CPS. The company will take the bids for and oversee the work to ensure it is all built up to code.

Building locations and project plans are tentative and subject to change as more information is gathered. Ingram urged residents to get out and vote their conscience, no matter what their stance on the issue

The Canton-Times

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