PITTSBURG — Thousands of informational brochures on the Pittsburg school district’s $31 million bond proposal found its way into mailboxes around town this week.
Since the district announced its bond election in December 2016, the district has been holding meetings at district buildings to inform the potential voters what the March 14 proposal entails.
“Our main concern is to get voters informed before March 14,” Zach Fletcher, the district’s communication director, said.
Information is on display at the Meadowbrook Mall, Homer Cole Community Center and Memorial Auditorium. It also can be found online at usd250.org/bondinformation.
Additionally, as indicated by a post pinned to the top of the district’s Facebook page, USD 250 officials are encouraging the public to register to vote.
Currently, 13,375 people are registered to vote in the special election. The deadline to register is Feb. 21, according to the Crawford County Clerk’s Office.
Julie Rybnick, Crawford County director of election services, said there has not been a surge of people to register since the board approved the proposal on Dec. 12.
Anyone unsure of their voter status can check online at voteks.org or call the county clerk’s office at 620-724-6115.
Earlier this week, the clerk’s office sent out release about early voting. The release said early voting can be done at the county clerk’s office in the Crawford County Courthouse in Girard from Feb. 22 until noon on March 13.
Early voting can be done in person as well from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 10 and 11 at the Meadowbrook Mall.
Rybnick said the deadline to get a mail-in ballot if March 10, but she “strongly encourages” anyone wanting to ensure their vote gets in on time to contact the clerk’s office about mail-in ballot before March 8.
On March 14, five locations will be open for voters from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Pittsburg:
Church of Christ Congregation Hall (802 E. Centennial), Countryside Christian Church Hall (1901 E. 4th), Pittsburg Public Utilities Annex (1501 N. Walnut), St. John’s Lutheran Church Hall (304 W. 3rd) and Baker Township West Fire Station (810 S. 200th).
Superintendent of Schools Destry Brown said the $31 million proposal would mitigate district concerns on safety and overcrowding for the next 10 years. The proposal would put build a FEMA approved storm shelter for wind and rubble load at each school in the district and the Family Resource Center, which houses early education.
The entire plan can be found on usd250.org.
The Pittsburg school board agreed to drop the capital outlay fund 3.5 mills next school year in order to keep a potential bond to a one mill increase. One mill is $1 per $1,000 of assessed value.
What a one mill increase would mean to taxpayers
$50,000 = $5.75 increase per year
$100,000 = $11 per year
$200,000 = $22 per year
$100,000 = $25 increase per year
$150,000 = $37 per year
$200,000 = $44 per year
Further, taxpayers would see drops from the district every five years over the bond’s 20 year life, Brown said, because other district debts would fall off. The district has about $17 million in bond debt set to expire in 2023.
Voters rejected a $67.6 million bond proposal by the district in January 2016.
The informational meetings left are 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Family Resource Center, 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Westside Elementary, 6 p.m. on Feb. 28 at Pittsburg High School and 6 p.m. on March 2 at Pittsburg Community Middle School. The meetings are open to the public and will take roughly 30 minutes.
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.