District 63 tax hike to help fund new roof at Gemini
Updated: January 21, 2013 6:06AM
MAINE TOWNSHIP — A portion of the property taxes paid to East Maine School District 63 this year is expected to support the replacement of Gemini Junior High School’s aging roof next summer.
District 63 is allocating an additional $1 million from its 2012 tax levy for operations and maintenance work in order to fund needed capital projects and better support the regular upkeep of its facilities.
Administrators had anticipated building a new roof at Gemini in 2014. Yet a report last month found construction needed to happen sooner, rather than later, according to Director of Operations Dan Barrie.
“It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when,” he said. “The roof is basically five years beyond its expected lifespan.”
He added: “There’s no leaking or anything like that, but we want to replace it before we get to that point.”
The current spray foam roof will be replaced with more sustainable asphalt and stone paving that typically lasts 20 to 30 years.
The last roof replacement at the six-decades-old school in Niles took place about 15 years ago, Barrie said. He said the district would likely begin seeking bids on the roof project, estimated to cost $1.86 million, in the spring.
The school district’s $32.59 million tax levy, approved by the Board of Education on Dec. 5, reflects a 4.7-percent increase over last year. Debt service brings the total amount levied to approximately $36.27 million.
A majority of levied funds — $25.25 million — would be used for educational purposes. The district also set aside $4.5 million for operations, building and maintenance; $1.7 million for transportation; $650,000 for tort immunity; $340,000 for special education; $100,000 for social security; and $50,000 for working cash.
Tax cap laws, however, limit this year’s levy increase to the Consumer Price Index of 3 percent plus new taxes associated with new construction. The actual amounts that District 63 projects to collect are $32.19 million plus an additional $3.68 million for debt service, reported David Bein, executive director of business services.