Chisholm trail kiwanis
Dr. Sherry Labyer, Duncan Public School superintendent, spoke to the Chisholm Trail Kiwanis Club on April 2 about the school district needs and the April 7 bond issue.
Labyer shared some history of the previous bond issues. In 1998, the first major bond issue was voted on to support the school district in more than 40 years. The bond issue was for $7,935,000 and allowed for Phase I of the new middle school and set the district tax millage rate at 24.58. In 2001, a bond issue of $16,405,000 was passed. This was used to complete Phase II of the middle school for housing the seventh and eighth grades. In 2006, voters passed a bond issue of $1,745,000.
With these three bond issues, Duncan residents have entrusted the school district with a total of $26 million for new capital improvements or to maintain current facilities. Labyer noted that is a lot of money; but added if we as individual homeowners did not do anything to our homes for 40 years, they would also need a lot of updating and repairs. The district buildings are much like that.
Labyer talked of the district’s current needs. Two propositions were on the ballot: one for $610,000 and another for $925,000. The first is for upgrading the electrical infrastructure of the school buildings and more bus storage. The second portion will be for transportation needs to purchase nine new buses and two activity buses. In the last four years, the district has been able to purchase only three new buses.
The district buses 1,700 students daily and one of the bus routes has a 98 mile round trip. The buses that are targeted to be replaced have 98,000 to 154,000 miles on them. Each of the buses will cost approximately $72,400 and the activity buses will cost $136,000.
Labyer talked about the need for activity buses. If a class goes out of town on a field trip, the bus and students have to be back in town by 2:30 p.m. so the bus can make its regular assigned bus route.
Labyer said the bond issue does raise individual property taxes slightly. The current millage rate is at 19.08, whereas the passage of the bond issue would increase the millage to near 24.58.
Labyer explained that a mill is equal to 1/1,000 of a dollar or 1/10 of a penny of the taxable base of a property. She said that the original sinking fund levy voted on in 1998 was 24.58 mills. This debt will be retired in July 2011.
She said the increase in property tax would be for the property owner. As an example, if the previous tax amount was $500, with the passage of the bond issue, the approximate tax would be $533.25, an increase of $33.25 per year, or $2.77 per month.
Chisholm trail kiwanis
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