The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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January 7, 2014

Neosho School Board works out details of April bond issue

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Neosho Board of Education on Tuesday night worked through more details of a likely April bond issue election, with time running short to approve a measure for the April ballot.

The board is expected to take action to place the bond issue on the ballot at its Jan. 20 meeting.

The bond issue proposal as it stands now would ask voters for their support of a seventh- and eighth-grade junior high school. Architect Eric McCune said plans call for a building of 100,000 to 115,000 square feet at a cost of about $22 million. Still undecided is where it would be built.

The results of a survey of 380 registered voters in the Neosho School District conducted last month were cited at the meeting. The highest ranked location by respondents was a site at Missouri Highway 86 and Kodiak Road, known as the Taylor Property. Board member Steve Douglas said its potential cost is $1.25 million. Others mentioned drainage problems on the property.

Douglas said the Taylor Property has better infrastructure in place than do other properties being considered.

Another location ranked high by survey respondents was property at Kodiak Road and Maple Street that connects to the Carver Elementary School property. The cost for that may be about $332,000.

Survey participants were asked how they would vote on a bond issue that included a new junior high school and expansion projects at elementary schools that would include a property tax increase of $74 a year on a house with an appraised value of $100,000. Sixty-two percent of them said they “strongly favor” or “favor” it. Support grew to 68 percent when the bond issue included only the junior high and a $48 tax increase.

Tim Crawley, district operations director, said it was likely that a bond issue would pass. He said poll takers promised 97.8 percent accuracy.

Resident Jerry Gilstrap attended the meeting and said he would need to be convinced of the need for the school and a frugal use of taxpayer money.

“It’s really a hard pill to swallow when every time I go in to pay my taxes, they go up,” he said.

Margin required

A BOND ISSUE would require 57.1 percent voter approval, a four-sevenths majority, for passage.

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