School Bond Referendum
I am in favor of passing the upcoming school bond. I realize there are points on each side of the school bond referendum; however, after reviewing all the facts listed below, I have come to the conclusion that now is the best time to pass the bond and move forward.
It is projected that upon passing of the school bond the cost per property owner is estimated at $50/$100,000 in assessed value. A $200,000 home would generate an estimated $8.50 per month increase in your tax bill. I believe this is a small price to pay for the education of our children.
In two recent school bond issues, Hartley and Okoboji, the bonds did not pass in their first attempts. In Hartley, a one year delay without a single change in design, cost taxpayers an additional $2 million dollars. After a delay, Okoboji passed a $25 million school bond and inflation hit them hard too. Delay and inflation increases the cost to the taxpayers. That is why now is the time.
Our bond counsel has stated that the norm for selling an old school building is just $1. Cherokee will receive $4,000,000 from Cherokee Regional Medical Center for the Roosevelt school property. This reduces the bond amount needed by an estimated 25%. Would the $4 million still be available in the future? Maybe so, but I wouldn’t want to take that chance.
Even if the school bond does not pass, the architects and contractors estimate that Roosevelt school will need around $8,175,00 spread out over 5 years just to bring the school up to average condition.
In my discussions with potential businesses and potential residents, their major theme is they are seeking a city that is progressive and growing. The first things families with school-age children want to know about is our school system and to review our physical plant. I would not want to show them Roosevelt in its current condition.
I believe the citizens of Cherokee are progressive and growth oriented. For these reasons, I am asking you to join me in a “Yes” vote on September 11th.
Absentee ballots and a voting booth are available at the courthouse.