Archive for Tuesday, November 26, 2002

School Board, volunteers serve up bond issue campaign

November 26, 2002

Parallels between new school construction and fast food aren't often drawn, but those analogies were discussed during a Basehor-Linwood School District bond issue campaign meeting Monday, Nov. 25.

According to school district figures, the owners of a $100,000 home would pay $22.47 per month or the price of a large pizza and four sodas if voters approve the $29.9 million bond issue.

The bond issue entails the construction of a new Basehor-Linwood Middle School, and renovations to Linwood, Glenwood and Basehor elementary schools.

But the comparison shopping didn't end with just pizza.

That same $22.47 per month is roughly the same as buying three Brown Bag specials at the new Basehor Sonic, school officials said.

The analogies were made during the Monday night meeting as a way campaign volunteers could simplify responses to critics, who might complain about the additional financial burden of the bond issue.

"I know there are elderly people and other people as well with limited resources and for who that will be a burden for," said Cal Cormack, Basehor-Linwood School District superintendent.

But it's almost now or never for the proposed new school construction, Cormack said.

"We'll never be able to build what we're proposing to build for less money than what we are right now," he said, citing record- low interest rates, reasonably priced land and the state's financial participation.

State participation in paying for the new school construction would be roughly 34 percent, meaning the state's end for Basehor-Linwood would be approximately $10 million, school officials said.

However, that's a percentage that could be trimmed or eliminated altogether during the next Legislative hearings, making the need to approve the bond issue in January all the more critical.

During the last session, a bill was proposed that would eliminate the state's participation in bond issues. It failed, but, state officials continue to look for ways to trim the budget deficit, now reaching close to $1 billion.

"That could come up again," Cormack said. "The state could decide that's one way we can address our revenue shortfall."

The Monday night meeting between School Board members, officials and volunteers was called so campaign progress could be assessed.

An area where the campaign will focus on is winning the votes of parents with children currently enrolled in Basehor-Linwood schools.

Campaign volunteers told school officials Monday night that the campaign was doing well in the Basehor and Glenwood Ridge areas, but there is some opposition in Linwood.

However, campaign volunteers said a number of activities and informational handouts are being prepared to win over opponents.

"Whatever it takes," volunteer Dayna Miller said. "If it takes my sweat and my blood and whatever body part to get this to pass, that's what I'll do."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.