The New Albany-Plain Local school board June 28 voted 4-1 to approve a resolution requesting the state's consent to issue bonds for the November election.

The New Albany-Plain Local school board June 28 voted 4-1 to approve a resolution requesting the state's consent to issue bonds for the November election.

Board member Cheri Lehmann dissented.

Interim superintendent Bill Reimer explained that the board was required to approve the legislation prior to even considering a bond issue on the November ballot.

"Even if you're not sure (if you want a bond issue on in November), this just allows you to do that if you decide to," he said. "You're not committed."

District treasurer Brian Ramsay said the state consent of a proposed bond issue is required by July 2. The next two steps if the board decides to take them would require the board to approve a resolution of necessity for a bond issue and then a motion to proceed with a ballot measure.

Board member Mike Klein said the state has changed the process of putting a bond issue on the ballot. That change, he said, extends the process somewhat.

Reimer cautioned board members that residents might not appreciate them voting to start the process for a bond issue on the same evening that they reviewed the campus master-plan committee's draft recommendations of projected expansions.

"This in no way obligates us to be on the ballot?" Klein asked. Reimer said it doesn't but suggested that the board respond to negative feedback without delay.

The board's vote allows the district to request up to $96-million in bonds.

Ramsay said that figure was included in the legislation as a maximum figure only.

The campus master plan committee is recommending expansions in phases. Their estimated total to add two new buildings, expand two others and rework existing campus spaces like parking is $112,308,797.

Lehmann said she voted against the legislation because this is a bad time, given the difficult economy and that the district is in the process of seeking a new superintendent. She said more time is needed to tell the community about the district's needs for expansion.

Lehmann has served on recent levy and bond-issue campaigns.