School board eyes April 2015 ballot for bond issue

Written by Muleskinner Staff

News Editor
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – The Warrensburg R-6 Board of Education wants to take another shot at a bond issue to build and improve school facilities, but this time the board may be asking for a smaller amount.
The board met Tuesday to discuss options regarding a debt service levy increase. The measure has failed twice, first in April and again Aug. 5.
Now the board is considering an 8-cent levy increase, down from the 12-cent increase presented in previous elections. According to the board’s financial report, passing an 8-cent increase would not raise municipal taxes.
However, the board agreed to skip the November election. Board President Beth Rutt suggested postponing a final decision on the election until next spring.
“I think our discussion should lean more towards April at the soonest, not in November,” Rutt said. “So that gives us from now until January to have more informed discussion as far as going through the list we’ve been given tonight, looking at construction priorities, and getting costs updated.”
The board agreed to wait, and will have until Jan. 27, 2015, to explore possible construction projects with no tax increases, updated construction cost estimates, and submit a new bond proposal.
Ruth summarized the challenges the bond may face after the school went ahead with construction on a new entrance at Warrensburg High School to address safety improvements.
“We’re going to have to educate the public that some of the things we have done since the fail of the bond, that those are just temporary solutions,” she said. “That just means we reallocated money from one project to another, and that the needs we have are still there.”
The bond issue was designed to pay for a new entrance and 800-seat performing arts center at Warrensburg High School, build more classroom space at Warrensburg Middle School and improve the athletic field between Sterling Elementary and the middle school.