AP NEWS

Alpine School District Board of Education creates local building authority

January 11, 2018 GMT

The Alpine School District Board of Education became the first Utah County school board to create a local building authority in its first board meeting of 2018.

The board unanimously voted to create the Local Building Authority of Alpine School District during its business meeting Tuesday.

The building authority is a nonprofit organization that allows the school district to bond for a project without going through a bond election or increasing property taxes. The school board members serve as the trustees for the building authority.

Rob Smith, the assistant superintendent of Alpine School District, presented information on the building authority to the board Tuesday. Smith explained he was asked to come up with an option that would allow the district to quickly finance building a school. The options were for the school board to either pay cash for a project and drain funds or create a local building authority.

The building authority could fund one project at a time.

The building authority was created with the purpose of financing the rebuild of Scera Park Elementary School in Orem after the school board voted last month to consolidate it and Hillcrest Elementary School.

The funds the district saves from closing Hillcrest Elementary School will likely go to fund the payments to the building authority for the Scera Park Elementary School rebuild project.

The Local Building Authority of Alpine School District has not voted on any projects yet.

Smith told the board the building authority won’t hurt the district’s financial standing.

Wendy Hart, a board member, questioned if the authority’s bylaws could make it possible for board members to kick another board member off the board of trustees.

“I’m looking at all the unintended consequences and how you can game a system,” Hart said.

Smith said that was not the intent of the language.

The Alpine School District joins more than 10 Utah school districts that have created building authorities.