Archive for Thursday, March 11, 2010

USD 491 sets stage for big decisions

March 11, 2010

The fate of the Eudora USD 491 district stadium likely will be decided at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

The facility, which is the final project associated with the district’s $45 million bond issue, was put out to bid last month. Those bids will be discussed Thursday.

Last week at a special Board meeting, district construction consultant Don Swartz told the district that depending on the bids, the stadium could cause the bond projects to be from $200,000 to $894,000 over budget.

In order to mitigate the overage, the district paid $25,000 in January for designs and a list of supplies needed to build the stadium. This method will allow the Board members to choose certain parts of the stadium the district could afford to build and other parts that can be deferred.

The initial parts of the stadium that would be built are the field, an eight-lane track, a fence, lights and scoreboard.

Alternates included colored end zones, a cardinal head in the middle of the field and bathrooms.

Football, soccer and track teams would use the stadium.

If a new stadium were built, it would free up the Nottingham and Laws Field site for development. Developing the property could increase Eudora’s miniscule business tax base, while at the same time providing financial relief to the district.

The property was appraised in 2008 at $845,000. Demolition could cost as much as $200,000, but Swartz said that likely wasn’t the case anymore because the costs have sharply decreased.

The board discussed the possibility that it could pay for the low end of the overage by raising the mill levy by four mills.

Board President Kenny Massey asked to hear from Board members regarding their thoughts on raising taxes to fund the stadium construction.

Responses varied, as Board Vice-President Joe Pyle said he was trying to look at the issue in the context of what it would mean to the long-term welfare of Eudora.

“I’m not a big fan of tax increases, but sometimes in our role, we have to do things like that,” he said.

Board member Mike Kelso said he also realized the need for the stadium. And though he knew the two issues weren’t directly related, he didn’t like the idea of building the stadium at an overage while being faced with cutting programs and jobs throughout the district.

Furthermore, if the stadium was built, Kelso said it should be done right — a reference to the fact that it could be built without bathrooms and concession stands.

The other board members agreed with both men and the consensus was that they all would know more when the bid prices were discussed at Thursday’s meeting.

Comments

thiisiknow 4 years, 1 month ago

I remember when the bond for the new school was being discussed it was told to the voters that the stadium would be the last on the list and if we could afford it we would do it. There was no talk of increasing taxes to pay for the stadium.When do we hold you at your word?My back is already burdened and I am not the only one I'm sure!

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hales 4 years, 1 month ago

Yeah they never follow through with what they say so we should be used to the disappointment by now!

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wasteland 4 years, 1 month ago

If your gonna try to get this new stadium built, get ready to be yelled at, because you guys are a sorry excuse for a school district, please try to get real jobs.

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livingwithinyourmeans 4 years, 1 month ago

I find the thought of even thinking of building a new stadium over budget while at the same time doing significant cuts that affect core programs insane. My children have had their field trips cancelled and my daughter might be affected if the reading positions in her middle school are cut and class size increased. I expect there to be continued cuts in USD 491's budget next year as revenue projections continue to fall below forecasts. Playing football and soccer in a new stadium is not as important as learning to read!

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wasteland 4 years, 1 month ago

Yeah it seems like they would rather have that stadium though, and you can not put reading and writing into the same 45 minute class, you need separate classes for both of them. I would like to tell them o keep the budget cuts as far away from the students as possible.

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hmahd 4 years, 1 month ago

seems to me Eudora keeps trying to be more and more like Johnson County and Lawrence. I moved to Eudora because it was a small town community but if you keep raising my taxes why shouldn't I just move to Lawrence or Johnson County to get all the "perks" of a big city?! And why on earth would you consider building a new stadium when you are going to be making cuts? I agree with livingwithinyourmeans, it's insane and just wrong to sacrifice an education over sports.

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thiisiknow 4 years, 1 month ago

I just got a call from LJWorld and as of this Thur. Eudora news will no longer be printed or delivered. That is expected because of costs but ,There is barely any news in LJW about your kids sports and definitely not a personal glimpse of the individuals. Little notables our paper printed will be unnoticed in LJW. I always felt a paper kept us all connected and up to date----I guess we are losing touch .

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