All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Inquiring minds want to know! Q & A with Bob Borch as the source

This is a series of questions and answers between one Elmbrook resident (parent) and Bob Borch, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations.

The parent will be in bold, Bob Borch will be in red.

Q: What is the current number of students in the Elmbrook high schools? What is the projected number of students over the next 20 years (or however many years these projected figures may be forecast for planning purposes)?

A: Borch, Current enrollment is 1,413 students at Central and 1,391 at East (2804 current total.) The district does not do 20 year enrollment projections. We do five year projections which shows high school enrollment at 2,510 students total for both schools in 2011-12.

Parent's note: This shows a 10 % projected decline in the high school population, which is consistent with the trend for decline in population for individuals under 14 years. This is not consistent with Dr. Gibson's statements that high school population will be "stable." Perhaps it will be "stable" as long as we increase out of district and Chapter 220 enrollments.
Sources: Sewrpc and ChooseMilwaukee

Q: What is the total dollar cost of the loan for this project, over the next 20 years, for an average $335,000 home (not including defeasance)? What is the projected interest for this project?

A: Borch, Should both questions be approved the total cost (for the average house) over twenty years is projected to be $6,840. Interest costs are projected to total $80,299,908.

Q: As an approximation of this total cost to the average homeowner, I took the total debt (108,800,000 + 80,299,908 = 189, 099,908) and divided this by the number of taxed entities. Using the 21,000 mailing labels (a number Borch supplied that the district mails out to)as this number, the cost per taxed entity was $9004.75. Using the 14,098 I received from the City Assessor's office as the number, the cost per taxed entity was $13,413.23 These figures do not support $6,840.

A: Borch, The city has indicated that the average home value is $335,000. We are working from that number.

Q: To check my work, I multiplied your estimated cost per average homeowner by the number of taxed entities. Using the 21,000 mailing labels as this number, the total debt which could be covered was $6,840 X 21,000 = $143,640,000. This does not cover a debt of $189,099,908. If I have misunderstood this, would you please illustrate with a numerical example for my edification?

A: Borch, I believe the average home in Elm Grove has a higher value then $335,000. However, since the majority of home(s) are in the City and to keep things simple, we are only using the City average. In part, that is the reason for the web site calculator, since it is expressed in fair market value, it allows homeowners in any part of the district to calculate their cost. In addition, keep in mind that taxes are paid by commercial and industrial properties and included in the 20 year cost process is the assumption of a 2% in real growth being added to the value of all properties, whether residential, commercial, or industrial.

Q: What future referenda may be planned for updating other Elmbrook school buildings during the next 20 years?

A: Borch, None are currently planned. The Long Range Facility Study done about eight years ago called for the high schools as the third phase of four phases. The fourth phase is projected to be minimal in cost, with the only projects clearly identified is to address the needs at Hillside and Tonawanda both which only have a cafeteria/gym unlike the rest of our schools which have separate facilities.

The Fairview South building is considered by the district to be excess property from a district perspective. In declaring this property excess, the district sent a message to all districts using this school as part of the cooperative that any cost for repairs to this building would have to be borne by all districts, not just Elmbrook. Thus, the building is not a part of the Elmbrook Facility Study.

Q: Is there any reserve in the Elmbrook School District's budget, accumulated over the years, whether by design, or by perhaps spending less than projected, or having higher revenue than projected?

A: Borch, The district had a fund balance of $16,598,440 at the end of the 2005-06 school year. Board policy requires the maintenance of a minimum of 15% of combined expenditures. The above amount is slightly higher than currently required. Please know that even with that amount of reserves on the books at the end of last year, we still needed to borrow $12.2 million of short term borrowing to have enough funds to get us from July 1, 2006 to January 15, 2007 when we received our first property tax payments.

Resident's note: I suppose nobody buys the idea that $108.8million is all for the high schools--their renovation price tag rose $63.5 million to $108.8 million.... while during the same time period, the cost of creating separate cafeteria / gym space in two elementary schools remained constant at the below-referendum price ( <$1million)? Or could be financed from reserves? Have the cafeteria prices been "hidden" in the high school referendums? Sources: 2003 Prices for renovation of 2 Elmbrook high schools = $63.5 million , and 2004 Prices for 2 cafeterias at $500,000 = $1million

Q: Combining the effects of these plans at projected rates (as alluded to previous questions) what is the projected school tax bill for today's average $335,000 home over the next 20 years? (or however many years these projected figures may be forecast for planning purposes)

A: Borch, See above answers - basically we do not know.

(Emphasis added)

Opinions and views expressed in guest postings do not necessarily reflect all of the opinions of Practically Speaking and Brookfield7. They are written by and are the opinion of the person listed at the bottom. Anonymous postings are submitted by persons who do not wish to have their name on the piece.


LINKS: Betterbrookfield, Brookfieldnow, Practically Speaking,


Post a Comment

<< Home