At the beginning of its Sept. 11 meeting, the Riverbank City Council heard a presentation on the upcoming Measure G, set for the November ballot.
Dr. Daryl Camp, superintendent of the Riverbank Unified School District, made the presentation, describing the details of the proposal for council members and the public.
Camp explained that Measure G is a general obligation bond to be voted on the upcoming general election ballot.
“It is designed as a tax rate extension,” Camp said.
The measure will authorize $19.1 million in locally controlled funds to repair and upgrade educational facilities and classrooms throughout the Riverbank Unified School District.
“The most important feature,” he noted, is that it will all happen “with no increase in current tax rates.” Rather, it is an extension of the current tax rate that was originally passed by voters years ago.
What Is A Tax Rate Extension?
Camp told the council that Measure G is designed to allow the Riverbank Unified School District to fund improvements by extending current tax rates. He noted that funds to repay the bonds come from a tax on all taxable property – residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial – all located within the District.
It is 5.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation on the property.
Why Is Measure G Needed?
Camp pointed out that most of the Riverbank Unified School District’s schools were built over 40 years ago and the oldest was built in 1941. “These schools need upgraded facilities and infrastructure as well as safer classrooms and campuses,” Camp said. “Unfortunately, State funding by itself is inadequate to maintain and improve our local schools. Measure G addresses this problem by providing a source of locally controlled funds to improve schools throughout the Riverbank Unified School District.”
Most importantly, he added, it will also qualify the District for millions in state matching funds that would otherwise be unavailable to RUSD.
What Taxpayer Protections Are In Place?
Camp told the council there are safeguards included in the measure.
“An independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee must review and report to the public all bond expenditures,” he said.
Funds are prohibited from being used for general operating expenses. They must be spent locally and cannot be taken by the state and spent elsewhere.
What Projects Would Be Funded?
Camp listed some of the improvement projects planned by the District:
• Upgrading and improving campus security, alarms, equipment and technology to increase student supervision and safety.
• Replacing and repairing outdated plumbing and leaky roofs.
• Providing additional classrooms and up-to-date science labs.
• Renovating classrooms and school buildings.
• Replacing, repairing and upgrading deteriorating portable classrooms.
• Modernizing athletic facilities.
When asked by the council whether the district planned a formal campaign in favor of Measure G, Camp told them the board had decided to just let the voters decide. He again reiterated the benefits that continuing the bond payments would offer, and said they would let those benefits speak for themselves.
Voting for Measure G will only affect residents of the Riverbank Unified School District. Those who live south of the MID canal are in the Sylvan School District.