You may recall that the 2017 ballot issue was for a total project cost of just over $48.3MM.
Three factors have added to the increase in the cost of the project and thus the cost to taxpayers:
First is the impact of inflation. The failure of the levy in November has delayed the construction of the project for at least a year. At the same time, the cost of labor and materials continued to increase, and so, the estimated project cost is now higher.
The second factor is the interest component of the bond issue. Since the bond issue failed in November, interest rates have increased by nearly 1.00%. That’s a significant increase when borrowing millions of dollars. Unfortunately, with continued rate increases by the Federal Reserve Bank, this is a cost that will likely to continue to go higher the longer it takes to finance the project.
Both of these factors are likely to continue increasing costs over the next several years while the economy is strong.
The third factor is that the State of Ohio Department of Education has adopted a requirement to create a storm shelter by reinforcing a portion of the building. This increases costs for that specific area of the building.
Why is the cost higher than what we voted on in 2017?