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Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Voters to weigh in on Jordan School District bond Tuesday

By Haley Smith | Posted - Nov 4th, 2013 @ 8:07am

SALT LAKE CITY — The largest school bond in Utah is headed into the hands of voters. Tuesday the Jordan School District's $495-million bond will be approved or denied.

Earlier this year the school board unanimously approved the bond resolution. While some people are optimistic about the possibilities of the proposal, others say the district is over-spending.

The Jordan School District is home to more than 52,000 children and growing. District board members said money from the bond would go to renovations at several existing schools, like fixing and improving broken air conditioner units.

The money would also fund:

  • Eight new elementary schools
  • Two new middle schools
  • One new high school

But Howard Stephenson of the Utah Taxpayers Association said the district could spend 25 percent less and still have nice buildings.

"Right now, the Jordan School District is building Taj Mahals," he said.

But Mike Haynes of the group Friends of Jordan School District disagrees. He said, "If you go around to other school districts in the state, there are far larger buildings and more elaborate buildings."

The Utah Taxpayer's Association said the bond will raise property taxes for those who live in the boundaries higher than anywhere else in Utah. That could mean an increase of up to $300 per household annually for at least 15 years. Businesses could see a jump of more than $500 annually.

Board members said they are aiming at building quality schools with a life span of 75 years.

Contributing: Andrew Adams

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