Rowland Unified School District

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Rowland Heights Voters to Decide on $158.8 Million bond in November

Rowland Heights voters to decide on $158.8 million bond in November

By Peter Fullam, SGVN
twitter.com/peterfullam

Rowland Heights Unified School District residents will pay about $78 more in property taxes if voters approve a $158.8 million bond measure in November, district officials said.

The school board recently voted to put the bond measure on the November ballot.

And school board member Cary Chen says it's a good deal for both education and real estate values.

"More taxes aren't always bad," Chen said Wednesday. "This one is an investment in education."

The district has about 16,000 students in the communities of Rowland Heights, Walnut, La Puente, Industry and West Covina.

If voters approve the bond measure, the money will be used for construction of school facilities to replace aging classrooms, including portables, at Rowland High School, Nogales High School and the Stanley G. Oswalt Academy. It also would help to repair, equip and construct multiuse facilities, sports facilities, libraries and science and technology labs in the district.

Chen said the tax will result in better schools, better education, better students and "a better quality of people."

"I believe this is worth less than $100," he said.

He also said the bond will increase property values in the area by improving the school district.

The June 26 board vote to put the bond measure on the Nov. 6 ballot was unanimous.

The November ballot is already packed with other initiatives asking voters to pay higher taxes, including


several statewide measures.

A public opinion survey of Rowland voters conducted in early June indicated that 60percent of voters would either "definitely" or "probably" vote yes if the measure is on the ballot in November, according to the district.

Deputy Superintendent Ruben Frutos said the district has a proven track record when it comes to use of bond dollars.

Projects funded by its 2000 and 2006 bond measures came in on time and with more than $24 million in savings, according to the district.

To save money on the 2006 bond, the district applied for and received a federal grant that pays the interest on $25million of the bond.

"That's huge," Frutos said.

"Property owners are paying less than they originally anticipated" on the 2006 bond, he said.

The district also has been able to negotiate favorable construction costs due to the downturn in construction, he said.

"This is an ideal time to move forward with these projects," Frutos told the board at its June 26 meeting. "Interest rates are at historic lows and the costs for materials and labor are very favorable."

peter.fullam@inlandnewspapers.com

626-962-8811, ext. 2123

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