Monroe City RI School District leaders are planning to spend much of this month educating voters in what they see as a critical need for a $13.5 million bond issue to make critical infrastructure improvements.

 Proposition 1 will appear on the April 2 Municipal Election ballot.

 Dr. Tracy Bottoms, superintendent of Monroe City Schools, says the repairs and updates are critical.

 “An energy audit conducted last summer has indicated $13.5 million worth of items that need to be addressed either immediately, or sometime within the next five years,” Bottoms said.

 Bottoms cited several examples: the middle school HVAC system is 23 years old, it needs to be addressed now ($500,000 expense; and the high school boiler is a one-unit system, it is 12 years old and needs to be replaced in the future ($400,000 expense).

 The district is also facing issues with buildings that are approaching 100 years old.

 “Originally, the district had discussed just building an elementary school, however, the energy audit had the district refocus on addressing multiple issues.  During this process, it became evident that our Ag building was not meeting the current Agriculture and Educational needs of our students and this is why the district is planning on rebuilding an Ag facility, if and when the bond issue passes.”

 Bottoms said that safety issues will also be addressed by connecting all buildings. Currently, only the elementary and middle school are connected. 

 “The security issue huge,” he said. “The district hopes to restructure our bus drop off and pick-up area for our elementary and middle school students, if and when the bond passes.”

 District leaders are seeking to convince voters to increase taxes by $65.38 a year on a house valued at $80,000. That comes from an additional tax of 43 cents per $100 in assessed value, from the current 4.2792 cents per $100 in assessed value.

 The district has developed a guide on the tax that is available on the web site under a tab entitled “PROP 2 Tax Info.”

 Here is the schedule of public meetings for the Monroe City School District:

Monroe City H.P.E.O. March 9, 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church Monroe City Community Meeting- March 12, 6:30 p.m. Ministerial Alliance-March 14, 9 a.m. at Apron Café) Daughters of Isabella- March 14 at 6 p.m. Monroe City Fire Protection Meeting- March 18, 6:30 p.m.. Monroe City Community Meeting- March 19, 6:30 p.m. (MCR-I Elementary) Monroe City Senior Citizens Nutrition Center- March 21, Noon. Monroe City Garden Club- March 21, 1:30 p.m.