Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2006

USD 491 to study moving up bond issue

August 31, 2006

Before the Eudora USD 491 Board of Education takes its next step en route to an upcoming bond issue, it must first decide two things: timing and scope.

Both topics will be covered during a special board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Community Learning Center, 10th and Main streets.

"We're going to look at bond schedules and in particular our architect will be there to visit about timelines whether we move forward next fall in 2007 with an election or we wait until 2008 with an election," Superintendent Marty obza said. "Our financial advisor will let us know what it looks like in terms of finance."

Last year, the district announced plans to schedule a bond issue referendum for 2008, but favorable property evaluations and information provided by forecasting companies like RSP & Associates led the district to reassess its position.

"At this point we're very excited about the future ---- it looks like we'll be able to take care of a lot of facility needs in the district without any tax impact in regard to mill rates," Kobza said. "It looks like we'll be able to hold our mill rate steady or bring it down slightly."

The district will also continue to refine the scope of the project.

Last year, the district envisioned a new elementary school as well as substantial additions to its current buildings.

Earlier in the summer, the district gained full ownership of the Community Learning Center. The district's ultimate use for that property could be wrapped up in the board's discussion of the bond's scope.

"The biggest thing right now is trying to decide what the scope of the bond may be," Kobza said. "We have several facilities we need to make decisions on."

The board will discuss how to use its current properties to best benefit the taxpayers, as well as defining where to put the possible elementary school addition.

"We have properties where we have to decide whether we retain those properties, or if we're better off having those properties developed off into some commercial use," Kobza said.

The benefit of possibly redeveloping some of the district's properties for commercial purposes would come in the form of an expanded tax base that would ultimately benefit property owners, Kobza said.

"There's going to be many decisions," Kobza said. "There will be some decisions we'll want input from the community on as well."

Kobza said community members were welcome to attend the meeting to stay informed of the latest bond developments.

"I think the most important information will be the timing of the bond issue ---- number one ----and the cost of the bond issue," Kobza said. "How much are we looking at that would be available to spend while minimizing the impact from a taxpayer's stand point? I think those are decisions that we will be discussing."

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