Archive for Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Voters reject $30 million bond issue for schools

January 29, 2003

As the old political saying goes, the dollar votes twice as much as the man.

Apparently this was the case last week, as voters found the $30 million price tag of a proposed Basehor-Linwood school district bond issue too much to bear.

Voters rejected the idea, 997 or roughly 59 percent, to 695 or 41 percent.

Overall, 1,692 votes were cast, about 700 fewer than when the last bond issue passed in 1997.

The $30 million bond issue proposal would have funded the construction of a new middle school located on County Road 2, and the renovation of Basehor, Glenwood Ridge and Linwood elementary schools.

"Obviously we're disappointed and we're surprised," said Cal Cormack, Basehor-Linwood school district superintendent. "I think the (school) board put together a good package that addressed the issues at all levels."

But money apparently was a concern. The owner of a $100,000 home would have paid an additional $172.16 annually in taxes under the bond issue.

Voters rejected the bond issue in all four school district voting precincts -- the city of Basehor, Basehor Township, Glenwood and Fairmount townships, and the Linwood and Sherman townships.

Only on absentee ballots did the bond issue receive approval, 51 to 36. Here is the precinct breakdown:

-- City of Basehor, 243 no to 187 yes.

-- Basehor Township, 194 no to 114 yes.

-- Glenwood/ Fairmount townships, 274 no to 215 yes.

-- Linwood/ Sherman townships, 250 no to 128 yes.

Historically in the school district, it takes less time to build the schools themselves than it does to procure funds from voters.

Four bond issues went before voters in the 1990s before voters approved a $16.7 million proposal in 1997, which funded construction of Glenwood Ridge and extensive renovations at Basehor-Linwood High School.

School officials said the next step would be to conduct a post-election assessment of the failed bond proposal.

"We'll talk with the community and find out why there wasn't the support," Cormack said.

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