Lake Los Angeles School Mello Roos Brainstorming
Lake Los Angeles – People are asking, “What is a Mello Roos?” It is defined as a method of financing that can be used by cities, counties and special districts (such as school districts in the case of Lake LA School) to finance major improvements and services within the particular district. Special taxes and bonds used for Mello-Roos financing can only be issued by counties or districts in which two-thirds (2/3) of the voters in the area have voted in favor of becoming a Mello-Roos district. At Lake Los Angeles School, the revenue from the Mello Roos in place can be used only for upgrades to the facilities and those facilities must have a minimum of a 5-year life expectancy.
On May 5, 2015, a review and analysis by Eric Hall & Associates of Community Facilities District (CFD) 91-1 was presented to District Superintendent Steve Doyle and Linette Hudson, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services. The exhibits attached were CFD 91-1 of the Keppel USD, Special Tax Bonds Series A, October 1992; CFD 91-1 of the Keppel USD, Special Tax Refunding Bonds 2001 Series A, April 2001; Description of the Project (construction of the school); Excerpt of Indenture; Excerpt of Resolution for Formation of CFD 91-1; Agency Information Sheet; CFD Review Critical Events Calendar and CFD Review Contact List. One element of the summary was the District has sufficient resources to retire the remaining outstanding 2001 bonds.
On January 21, 2016, a presentation to the Keppel Unified School District Board of Trustees by Principal Mrs. Tangie Schatz described a proposed upgrade to the Kindergarten and First through Eighth Grade (primary) playgrounds. During the school year 2013-2014, the School Site Council began researching play structures due to existing structures becoming unsafe. During open house, catalogues and survey sheets with structures already voted upon by students and teachers were shared. A survey was taken and stakeholders’’ input data itemized. At the request of Superintendent Doyle, Mrs. Schatz sent a flier to parents and community asking for volunteers to be part of a Mello Roos committee. On December 8 the initial meeting was held where Mr. Doyle gave an overview of the Mello Roos from start to finish. The task at hand was how to bring the community and stakeholders together to set priorities and timelines. The upgrading of the playgrounds had already been brought to the stakeholders back in the school year of 2013-2014. During Lake LA School’s Winter Performance, it was verified that stakeholders’ direction was to improve the playgrounds. The total price for upgrades to the Kindergarten playground and the First through Eighth (primary) playground is $322,876.60 which the Board approved. The work will be done during summer 2016 when school is not in session. This new configuration will accommodate the smaller children as well as the bigger students … it will equitably and safely accommodate all Lake LA School’s students.
On January 28th Mrs. Schatz called another meeting to continue with the prioritization of upgrades. In attendance were Robert Harris, Dominic Fohrenkam, Shirley Harriman, Talena Booker and Yvonne Malikowski. Teacher Bonnie Bolton manned the computer to record the list. It was important to not only itemize and prioritize but to consider the timeline that would both benefit the school and the needs as well. The list drawn is:
1. Air conditioners for six (6) classrooms 116-121, cost estimate $80,000, shovel ready now. 2. New roof for building 3 and main building top priority 3. Windows doors for 116-121 for security reasons 4. New public address system for multipurpose room 5. Desks, tables and chairs for classroom (rotating purchase) 6. Keyless entries for security and to alleviate classroom disruptions 7. Expand the library book cases 8. Stage curtain 9. Carpet replacement 10. Automatic flushers for main building bathrooms 11. Shower (nurse’s office) 12. New bleachers inside and outside 13. Picnic tables
Mrs. Schatz discussed the normal wear and tear on the existing playground equipment and the fact that this equipment is 20 years old. Mrs. Schatz shared, “The average student count is 485± students. Today we have a record enrollment of 523 students. We have $2.1M to work with. We want to keep the interest building while we systematically draw down on the principal. Some services we will be getting on the normal District’s rotating basis. Let’s keep safety considerations in mind. We also must build on what is an upgrade to the facilities only and what satisfies the 5-year shelf life requirement”.
On February 18, 2016 at 6:30PM, the Keppel Board will be meeting at Lake LA School. At that time a community forum will be conducted where each person in attendance will express their choice of upgrade and order of importance using the “dot” system to vote. Each person will be given a set amount of stick-on dots to place on the sheets itemizing each upgrade. Then on April 14, 2016 another meeting of the Committee will be held to determine costs and timeline for the wish list. Spring break is March 21 through March 25.