By Ashley Rader
The Elizabethton City School system is a step closer to funding for the next round of capital construction projects after City Council authorized city officials to start the process for a bond.
Council voted 6-0 Tuesday night to authorize a bond not to exceed $6.1 million for several projects in the schools, an increase from the original proposed limit of $5,125,000 but well short of funding the school system’s full capital plan.
Council member Nancy Alsup was absent.
The bond would be for 20 years, and the limit was set based on the annual revenues from the half-cent sales tax collected for the school’s current bond. The school’s capital plan has a total cost of around $9 million.
City Manager Jerome Kitchens said he felt it was time for the city to take action on the bond because interest rates on loans were increasing. He noted the original limit would not cover all the projects on the school’s list, but that it would be up to the school board to set a priority list. He said if council members were comfortable with those priorities, then they could move forward with the bond.
Kitchens said based on previous conversations with school officials he could guess that the new classrooms, science labs and changes to gain ADA compliance at T.A. Dugger Junior High School would be first on the priority list, but that he could not be sure of what would be listed after that.