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School District Considering Abatement Bond for Parking Lots

During its work session last month, the Big Lake School Board discussed the possibility of using an abatement bond to fund parking lot improvements at three out of four of its schools.


“We can’t continue to patch our parking lots,” said Superintendent Westerberg. “It is time to have them redone appropriately.”


Under Minnesota law, a school board can approve and issue abatement bonds, without voter approval, for the sole purpose of construction, resurfacing, replacement or repair of school parking lots.


The district is looking at having the parking lots replaced at the high school, and significant improvements at the middle school and Liberty Elementary. Initial bids estimate the project would cost approximately $2.3 million. Independence Elementary had its parking lot replaced last year.


“This type of bond is the most financially feasible way to fund this project,” Westerberg said. “And it is great timing as we have a debt service bond being paid off, so we will basically be replacing one bond for another.”


Preliminary numbers show the net impact of the two bonds will produce a slight decrease for many property owners—a decrease of $2 for a homeowner with a property valued at $200,000.