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MOORPARK : Factions Disagree on School Bond Costs


A $25.5-million school bond initiative on the November ballot in Moorpark is beginning to heat up as opposing sides quote disparate figures on how much the bond issue will cost homeowners.

The school district is saying the bond, known as Measure B, will cost the average Moorpark household about $80 a year, whereas banker Dave Lorenzen of Moorpark is passing out leaflets saying homeowners will pay about $300 a year.

Ken Prosser, director of school business and advisory services for the county superintendent's office, said Lorenzen is using figures based on the number of homes and businesses in Moorpark, not assessed valuations of homes.

"School bonds are not paid on a per-resident basis, they are paid on assessed valuation," Prosser said. "I agree more with the district's figures than with Lorenzen's figures."

The bond issue would finance additional classrooms at the high school, a new middle school and elementary school and renovate existing schools. The Moorpark Unified School District, in figuring the cost of the bond to homeowners, used 1986-87 county tax assessment rolls to get an average assessed valuation of homes in the community, said Carmela Vignocchi, assistant superintendent for business services.

"Approximately 70% of the people in Moorpark today bought homes in that period," she said.

Lorenzen's concern is that the school district's list of construction projects is "too aggressive. It's an incredible shopping list. . . .People forget this is a loan."

However, school board member Tom Baldwin said the district is not looking to use the entire $25.5-million bond immediately.

The State Department of Education already has approved three projects--the additional high school classrooms, the new middle school and the remodeling of Chaparral Middle School. However, they will be funded only if Proposition 146, which would approve $800 million in school construction funds, passes in November.

The district expects enrollment to climb by 1,500 to 2,000 in the next five years. Enrollment at the district's one middle school is 1,129, while Moorpark High School enrollment is listed at 1,150. Both schools have portable classrooms.

A forum on the bond issue is planned at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Moorpark Memorial High School.

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