The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 6, 2012

Board places $62 million bond issue on April ballot

JOPLIN, Mo. — In a special session Monday morning, the Joplin Board of Education unanimously approved for the ballot what likely is the largest bond issue proposal in the history of the school district.

If endorsed by voters April 3, the posed $62 million bond issue would go toward rebuilding schools destroyed in the May 22 tornado, community storm shelters throughout the school district, and repairs and upgrades to undamaged elementary schools.

The bond issue has some Joplin taxpayers divided, given the current economic climate and the impact the storm had on residents. The district’s total levy now stands at $3.31 per $100 of assessed valuation. The total is composed of the $2.75 operating levy and a 56-cent levy for debt service.

35-CENT INCREASE

If the bond issue is approved, the debt service levy would increase by 35 cents, making the total levy $3.66 per $100 assessed valuation. For purposes of example, that would cost the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000 about $695 in annual school taxes, an increase of about $65.

“Folks like me can’t afford that increase, but I know somebody’s got to pay it, and I can understand the costs,” said Joe Groce, of Joplin. “I probably won’t be voting in favor of it. I can see paying some, but not that much. Most Joplin residents can’t afford that.”

Some others see the proposal as more of a necessity.

“What the schools have gone through is horrific, and I can imagine there’s a huge need for additional funding,” said Steve Gaarder, of Joplin. “It’s something I’d be willing to pay for. Any tax increase is hard to swallow, but I will if it’s to pay for the purpose of educating kids.”

The school district’s bonding capacity is about $63 million. District officials say that if the bond issue is approved, they will still aggressively seek other means of funding, including grants, and state and federal aid.

“When there’s an opportunity to better a situation, you have to take advantage of that, and as long as the federal and state support and donations are coming in, we need to take advantage of those to offset the taxpayer burden long term,” Superintendent C.J. Huff said.

The district estimates that all the projects would cost about $185 million. It will receive about $85.9 million in total insurance proceeds from Travelers Insurance for schools that were destroyed in the tornado, a figure on which the board settled in closed session Monday. The district has yet to settle on the contents of the buildings, which is a separate claim.

Huff gave a presentation of his reasons for recommending the bond issue to the board before it voted. After the meeting, several board members declined interviews and referred questions to board President Ashley Micklethwaite. Board member Anne Sharp was not present for the meeting.

Text Only
Local News
  • Season opens Friday for Carthage Art Walk

    Art, music and other activities are scheduled Friday when a new season of the Carthage Art Walk opens on the courthouse square.

    April 23, 2014

  • Carthage Council reorganizes

    The Carthage City Council has one new member after Paul McCoy was sworn in as Ward 2 councilman on Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Nixon: Tax-cut bill holds fatal flaw; area lawmakers say stance totally false

    Another year has brought yet another tax-cut fight between Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly, and on Tuesday, Nixon announced that he had found what he sees as a fatal flaw.

    April 22, 2014

  • Jasper County Commission approves contract for storage building expansion

    The Jasper County Commission on Tuesday approved a contract to expand an equipment storage building at the county’s Highway Department Complex on North River Street. The commissioners accepted a bid from Matt Denney Construction Co., Carthage, to build the 3,000-square-foot addition at a cost of $62,375.

    April 22, 2014

  • NEO_Big_Event - Bright.jpg NEO students step up for Big Event

    Leann Hartman has a 30-foot ditch filled with leaves that she has to clean out every spring. For the retired schoolteacher, this usually means paying a company to clean it for her, only to have to do it again the following year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carthage School Board advances funding for building projects

    Financing for a series of building projects planned in the Carthage School District was advanced Monday by members of the Carthage School Board. The board approved a resolution authorizing the sale of $18 million in bonds to finance a series of building improvements and approved lease-purchase financing for the early childhood center currently under construction.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Golf tournament supports SIDS research, awareness

    There are probably a lot of reasons the Marshall Dean Keller Memorial Golf Tournament continues to grow year after year, but one of the biggest just might be the cause it supports.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • r042214earthday.jpg Local group launches clean air plan on Earth Day

    It was an Earth Day first for Stephany Aquinaga, a pre-med student and member of the biology club at Missouri Southern State University. “This is the first time I have ever planted a tree,” she said.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Nevada City Attorney chosen to advise Neosho Ethics Board

    The Neosho City Council on Monday appointed Bill McCaffree, Nevada city attorney, as special counsel to the Neosho Ethics Board. McCaffree will provide the ethics board with legal advice as it investigates an ethics complaint against council members Steve Hart and David Ruth. The vote to hire McCaffree was 3-2, with Hart and Ruth voting against the motion.

    April 22, 2014

  • Neosho teachers express support for Common Core State Standards

    Neosho teachers on Monday voiced their full support for Common Core State Standards. They made their statements to board members during the Neosho Board of Education meeting as an agenda item.

    April 22, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that a tax cut approved by the Legislature could have a “cataclysmic” effect on state revenues to the tune of $4.8 billion. House Majority Leader John Diehl calls that “absurd.” Who do you believe?

A. Nixon
B. Diehl
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter