By Darrell Todd Maurina
Clovis Municipal School Board members learned Tuesday evening the district has received nearly $200,000 in funds from a special library bond issue and $6,168 in three different grants to support smaller projects.
According to a budget adjustment request, the district will spend $160,000 for textbooks, $10,000 for software, and $26,177 for library and audiovisual material. Finance officer Debbie Zurzolo said the funds came from a 2002 bond issue and just now became available to the district.
Other additional money includes a $5,000 Reading First grant awarded to teacher Rose Ellen Dunn, a $1,000 science grant to Terry Pipkin from the PNM Foundation, and a $168 grant from Los Alamos National Laboratories that Superintendent Neil Nuttall said would be used to buy accelerated reading material at Lincoln-Jackson Elementary School.
Nuttall said Pipkin’s grant is for a project he considered particularly noteworthy. Pipkin will work with Highland Elementary students to check the water quality of Green Acres Lake and determine what plants there help feed migratory birds.
“It will be interesting to see what Mrs. Pipkin comes up with,” said board member Mark Lansford. “People have been eating fish out of that lake for years, but I’ve seen what goes into it, and … ugh.”
In other financial matters, the board heard a report on an upcoming $5 million general obligation special school bond election. Scheduled for Feb. 3, the bond issue is intended to raise money to repair and replace school building roofs, make renovations to current buildings, repair or replace heating, cooling and plumbing systems, improve parking, and install a fiber optic network for the district.
Lonnie Leslie, assistant superintendent for operations, said district officials are holding a number of informal sessions to explain the bond issue vote to the public and explain that approving the bond issue will not increase property taxes over the current rates. Leslie said voting for the bond issue will also result in the district receiving more money from the state.
“We haven’t asked for a tax increase in forever,” Leslie said. “This bond issue, for every $22 of local revenue, the state provides us $78.”