Troy schools seek to renew 1.1-mill levy

Generates $700,000 a year for facility maintenance

By Melanie Yingst -

TROY — The Troy City School district will be seeking to renew a 1.1-mill capital improvement levy on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Capital improvement levy funds may only be used to maintain, repair, or improve district facilities or equipment. It may not be used for salaries, benefits or to pay other operational costs.

The levy, originally passed in 1984, generates approximately $700,000 per year for the district’s upkeep of its facilities. The levy renewal costs a homeowner of a $100,000 home approximately $30.28 annually, according to district officials. The renewal will not increase taxes.

The capital improvement funds maintain the district’s 13 buildings (700,601 square feet) and 90.46 acres of grounds.

Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper said the district has a five-year plan to prioritize the facilities needs as part of its budget process. Upcoming maintenance projects include roof replacement at Cookson for its west wing, which will cost approximately $160,000 with more roof work for the building that could cost up to $500,000 in the next five years.

”The challenging part about the plan is that with the age of our buildings, things happen unexpectedly that can cause us to adjust our plan accordingly. We always have to the consider the plan a working document that is not carved in stone,” Piper said. “This levy brings in approximately $700,000 to the district and it is absolutely critical for us to maintain our aging facilities. While we spend more than that on an annual basis, these dollars do help keep our students warm, safe, and dry. We are operating equipment that is in many cases several decades old that could go out tomorrow. Because of the age of some of this equipment, like our boilers, we can’t find parts to repair them. Sometimes parts can be fabricated, but other times the entire piece of equipment would have to be replaced. If we didn’t have this money available, we may have to use general fund dollars that support student programs instead.”

While the Troy City Schools’ board of education has not yet determined its next step after its failed construction bond levy last year, Piper addressed how the capital improvement levy funds will be impacted if new facilities are approved by the voters in the future.

“If a building project gets approved by our voters in the near future we will reassess our capital improvement plans to make sure we aren’t spending dollars unnecessarily on facilities that would be replaced,” Piper said. “We will have to ensure that our facilities are safe for our students while we occupy them, but of course we will think carefully about how we are spending those dollars. There is a significant amount of need in our district, and while our junior high and high school buildings are two of the youngest buildings, they are still 50 years old on average. Building new schools would allow us to re-prioritize our needs and address the needs of junior high and high school buildings more quickly.”

Last year, the district spent approximately $675,000 on the following capital improvement projects: Window replacement in the central office administration building, $13,000; parking lot replacement at Hook Elementary, $32,588; tuck pointing (replacing mortar between bricks) at Concord and Van Cleve, $18,000; expansion joint re-caulking at Troy High School, $24,500; re-paved north Junior High lot, $45,000; added outside control for high school kitchen freezer and replace control systems for high school gyms and offices, $16,850; Troy Memorial Stadium cleaning and repainting, $55,650; mower replacement, $9,650; pick up and snow plow replacement, $41,563; replaced dump truck, plow and spreader unit, $70,133; replace Chromebooks, $50,000; music instrument storage, keyboards and stands, $33,668.
Generates $700,000 a year for facility maintenance

By Melanie Yingst