The team of 10 dedicated Indian Hill School District residents who comprised the community-based Finance Committee made a unanimous recommendation to the Board of Education during the January 14 meeting. The recommendation comes after the committee invested eight months learning detailed information on school finance, and working directly with Treasurer Mick Davis to understand the financial position of the Indian Hill School District. Considering both the facilities and operational needs of the District, the recommendation is for the Board to consider placing a combined bond/operational levy on the ballot in November 2020 not to exceed six mills total, which – at most – would be an investment of approximately $210 annually for every $100,000 property value per the Hamilton County Auditor.
“I want to personally thank each member of this committee; this was a significant task, and they have developed a fiscally conservative recommendation for the Board to consider that addresses the serious and substantial facilities issues we face while also sustaining and maintaining the excellent educational services we provide that make us uniquely Indian Hill,” said Indian Hill School District Treasurer Mick Davis. “In their recommendation to the Board of Education, the Finance Committee worked diligently to keep the millage as low as possible, and to also allow the Board flexibility as they take recommendations from both community-based committees into consideration.”
The Finance Committee recommendation was built from guiding principles to optimize financial resources provided by Indian Hill School District taxpayers to benefit students, staff, and community members, and included the following goals: maintain unique programming; maintain student support services; maintain current student/teacher ratios; maintain transportation; maintain current extra-curricular programs. Additionally, the Finance Committee was dedicated to honoring the work of the District’s community-based Facilities Steering Committee.
In October, after a year of extensive review, research, and analyses, the Facilities Steering Committee presented the Board of Education with four options to address needs for school facilities within the Indian Hill School District. The Facilities Steering Committee, a subcommittee of the overarching Facilities Assessment Task Force that began in September of 2018, convened regularly through the end of September 2019 to develop the detailed analysis of capital needs at all District school buildings and facilities.
“This recommendation of the Finance Committee honors and recognizes the Facilities Committee’s research which showed the most critical facilities concerns are the needs facing Indian Hill Middle School. This recommendation addresses replacing Indian Hill Middle School, and funds the other critical facilities needs including increased security measures and aging mechanical equipment throughout the District,” said Davis. “Additionally, the Finance Committee spent significant time examining our operational needs. The District’s last voter-approved operating issue was passed more than 25 years ago, and the District is approaching a need for additional dollars.”
The Finance Committee recommended approximately 3.5 mills, 30-year term to provide $82 million for the bond issue to fix facilities; and approximately 2.4 mills on a five-year term operation levy. No decisions have been made. The Board of Education members will take the recommendations into consideration, and seek additional input.
“It is important to note that no official action has been taken, and the Board of Education will consider all findings by both committees before any decisions are made,” said Indian Hill Superintendent Kirk Koennecke. “We will continue to keep the community updated on progress as our Board members consider these recommendations that are the result of much research and analysis by our biggest investors, our community members. We thank all members of both committees who did this work.”
Click here to view the Finance Committee presentation to the Board of Education. Click here to see a summary of needs and the recommendation of the Facilities Steering Committee as presented to the Indian Hill Board of Education. Click here to see the Facilities Assessment process on the District website.
Photo caption: Members of the Indian Hill School District community-based Finance Committee presented findings to the Board of Education during the January 14 Board meeting.
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