News Column

Maize bond issue will not be on November ballot

August 12, 2014

By Suzanne Perez Tobias, The Wichita Eagle

Aug. 12--Maize school district voters will not vote on a bond issue in November.

School board members decided Monday that they have more questions to answer about a potential bond issue and will not put the issue on Nov. 4 general election ballot, said district spokeswoman Lori O'Toole Buselt.

"Looking at the calendar ... they decided that was too soon," Buselt said.

Earlier this year, a group advising Maize schools presented a proposal for nearly $85 million in school projects, including a third middle school, a storm shelter at Maize High School, a new early childhood center and more than $20 million in athletic improvements.

Since then, Maize leaders tabled a proposal for a $10 million aquatic center, in part because nearby Goddard is moving forward with plans for an Olympic-quality natatorium complex.

Buselt said board members discussed rolling some high-dollar maintenance projects, such as new roofs and artificial turf, into a bond issue but did not specify when that might go to voters.

According to the advisory committee report, an $80 million bond issue would translate to 5.62 mills -- a property tax increase of about $65 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home.

Bond issues tend to garner plenty of support in Maize, a district of about 7,000 students that includes much of west Wichita. Since 1977, voters have approved six bond issues worth $120 million.

Nearly two-thirds of Maize voters voted yes for the last bond issue -- nearly $60 million in April 2007 -- which financed a new Maize South Middle School, converted an existing middle school to Maize South High, built a new elementary school and expanded others.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.


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Source: Wichita Eagle (KS)

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