The Kyrene School District Governing Board approved a plan that will allow them access to $2.5 million of what was previously untouchable money.

After the second board meeting this week, the board discussed options on how to pay for high-priority projects, which includes replacing the roofs at up to six Kyrene schools.

They reached a decision, passed by a 4-1 vote, to divert payment of A bonds to pay off their B bond debt, the sale of which was approved by voters in 2010.

The board was assured that the strategy, they were calling the A-B switch, would not increase tax rates for area home owners. The district was previously unable to touch any of the $116 million in bond money that voters approved in 2010 because their B bond debt exceeded the statutory bonding capacity, caused by the significant decline in assessed home values. The board approved on Thursday to pay an amount up to $44 million toward that debt, thus reducing the gap between debt and bonding capacity, which will allow them up to $2.5 million.

“We are doing now what we do every year — finding imperfect solutions to perfect problems,” board member Ross Robb said on Thursday. “We’re not doing anything voodoo here.”

The district will also see $1 million coming from voter-approved bonds from 2005, the last of that money, and possibly utilize $4.7 million from a prepaid liability account.

The goal is simple, board members said, but getting there is the challenge.

“(This is) an investment in our children,” board member Ellen Shamah said Thursday.

The next step is to discuss these projects and their timeliness, which will happen at the next board meeting on June 26.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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