Anchorage Assembly approves $50M in school bonds for April ballot
On Tuesday, Anchorage Assembly members voted unanimously to move a $50 million school bond package onto the April ballot.
If approved, Anchorage taxpayers would be responsible for the entire tab.
In the past, the state has reimbursed municipalities as much as 80 percent of local school bonds, but in the wake of a state budget crunch, lawmakers suspended the school bond reimbursement program in 2015.
"They (Anchorage voters) have to understand they’re going to obligate themselves to the whole $50 million. The state’s not going to participate anymore. In the past, the state was good for 60 to 70 percent; from now on, they’re zero," said Dick Traini, chair of the Anchorage Assembly.
Tuesday's bond package includes more than $30 million for roof projects at 11 elementary schools in Anchorage and Mears Middle School. It would also cover safety and code upgrades for Abbott Loop Elementary, as well as Service and East High School.
Last month, KTVA got an inside look at some of the problems at East High -- which include crumbling ceiling tiles and a lack of sprinklers in some areas, such as the gymnasium.
"When you’ve got parts of the roof falling down, water coming in-- I’ve been in some schools where they’ve got buckets to collect the water coming in -- you just can’t have that, it’s not safe for the kids," Traini said.
Anchorage voters approved a $58.5 million bond package last year. But in 2016, voters shot down nearly $49 million in school bonds.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: