Let's make it simple. This $67.6 million plan will cost our community over $119 million by the time it is paid off.

Storm shelters are a big selling point in this proposal, yet the most vulnerable children our district's buildings, those at the Family Resource Center, will have no safe place to go in the event of a tornado. Parents should be outraged.

There will be no detailed facilities plan made until after a bond passes. We have been told since last summer, that the plan included a $9 million performing arts center/storm shelter, then just last Tues. (Jan. 12), we were told "the new cafeteria could also serve as a storm shelter." THERE IS NO REAL PLAN.

We are told of all the catastrophic consequences that will occur if this bond doesn't pass. It's really pretty simple. This bond can and should go back to the drawing board. VOTE NO!

Sincerely,

R.G. "Skip" Urich

Pittsburg

 

Devastating economic impact

It is time to talk about the devastating economic impact that this massive school bond will have on the already poorest county in the State of Kansas. We cannot understand how the supporters of this bond plan to pay over $119 million which includes principal and interest for 25 years. The average median income in Crawford County is $35,286 which is lower than Cherokee County at $38,154. Wit this massive tax, what incentive would any new manufacturing company have to locate in Pittsburg? If passed, this tax starts now in 2016. All businesses will see an increase of 17 percent on their tax statements and they will pass this increase on to you the consumer. Anyone who does not want to pay more for their good and services in Pittsburg such as food, gasoline, auto repair, appliances, eating out, etc., should vote no.

How will residential property owners who are on a fixed income be able to pay the increase in taxes and services? We already have enough delinquent taxes in this county. This increase in taxes will only exacerbate this problem.

If you enjoyed paying your 2015 property tax that was den on 12/20/2015, just and another 8.1 percent for residential and 17 percent for commercial for 25 years. Commercial taxes are already twice as high as residential.

Please vote no.

David Puddy

Pittsburg

 

Save our middle school, vote YES on the bond issue

It is unfortunate that I have seen several sings around town urging people to vote no on the upcoming bond issue. One particularly irritating sign states, "Save our middle school, vote NO."

I would like to respond to that particular sentiment. As the heading f my letter indicates, I believe that to save our middle school we need to pass the bond issue. The middle school does not consist of the wester facade and towers. The middle school consists of the teachers and students. To save the education value of the middle school, USD 250 needs a more flexible, useful structure.

I know that some people are emotionally tied to the middle school/old Pittsburg High School. I grew up in a small town in NW Missouri which has torn down its old, no longer useful high school and replaced it with a more up to date structure that is serving the children of that town well. When my high school class meets every five years for reunions we never bemoan the fact that our old HS building no longer exists. We reminisce about the teachers we had and the things that went on in that old building. Our HS consisted of the teachers and students, not the building. So, in my opinion, whether or not the upcoming bond issue involves demolishing any part of the current middle school should not be an issue in the election.

I invite all the patrons of USD 250 to examine with an open mind, the proposed construction plans of the upcoming bond issue and vote according to what needs to be done, not vote on the sentimental value of an old building.

Elwyn H. Davis

Pittsburg

 

District faces growth

To the Editor:

Pittsburg is currently voting on a $67.6 million school bond issue. The project includes each school in the district. Improvements address educational needs, student activities, food service, HVAC upgrades and storm shelters. Information providing details of the project and financial impact is available from the district and other sources. I encourage every voter to make an informed choice.

The district faces the best challenge possible – growth. We should find ways to support that growth and continue the momentum. The planning process was lengthy and open, well publicized by this very newspaper, with opportunity for input along the way. The plan is not everyone’s exact option, nor will any plan be. It is a consensus from groups representing a cross-section of the community with a goal of the greater good. The amount is significant because the need/benefit is significant in scope.

The renovation of the middle school is primarily to accommodate 5th graders being moved from elementary schools to create space with less construction costs on those 4 facilities. The consensus, as with a previous bond issue involving different community members, administration and architects, was that a remodel of the original building was neither the best, nor most cost effective option going forward. The building has sentimental value, but should that outweigh more prudent options? The district and architects are fully aware of the sentiment and have openly committed to incorporating elements of the façade into the project as much as is feasible. I would encourage those that feel strongly about retaining the façade to consider private funding support for its inclusion in some form, as other citizens have done for many district facility improvements made in recent years.

 Consider these factors when looking at financial impact: A progressive school district is a key component to strong community development, which in turn can have a positive impact on property values and an expanded tax base. The 25-year term is not inappropriate for commercial/residential real estate improvements. Many commercial property loans run 20-25 years with home loans to 30 years. The State will be paying at least 28% of the bond, leveraging local dollars. Interest rates are still near historic lows. Most businesses and households continually re-invest in their properties. It is the prudent thing to do long-term and should be expected to remain successful. Think beyond yourself. Look to the future. Vote.

Jeff Elliott

Pittsburg