North Platte board approves ballot language for no-tax increase initiative

DEARBORN, Mo. — As part of a continuing effort to come up with funding for possible capital projects across the district, the North Platte Board of Education approved ballot language for community members to vote on. The district has decided to seek improvements through a no-tax-rate increase ballot measure in the April general municipal election.

The biggest portion of the planned projects would involve demolishing the current junior high and building a new one.

The ballot language presented at the meeting read as follows: Shall the Board of Education of the North Platte R-1 School District, Missouri, without an estimated increase in the current debt service property tax levy, borrow money in the amount of Six Million Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($6,200,000) for the purpose of providing funds for the site development, construction, equipping and furnishing of a new junior high building; to repair and replace roofs, including a portion of the Elementary School roof; to the extent funds are available, complete other remodeling and repair improvements to the existing facilities of the District; and issue bonds for the payment thereof? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the School District is estimated to remain unchanged at $0.9900 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.

The district currently has a $0.99 cent levy in their debt services fund that is being used to pay off the projects voters approved in the fall of 2009. Those projects included the new North Platte Intermediate School in Edgerton, Mo. 

The current projects are currently expected to be paid for in full by 2025. Currently it is projected that if the same levy is extended an additional 12 years, it would generate an additional $6.2 million for capital projects. 

In December, Incite Design Studio — under contract with the district for architectural designs — presented the board with a potential floor plan of a new junior high school for consideration. The board also discussed the possibility of potential construction and renovation options for the junior high and elementary, including replacing the roofs for both schools. 

The district formed a long-range planning committee earlier this year in order to prioritize needs, taking a look at the potential replacement of school buildings or upgrades to existing ones. 

Potential projects discussed so far include replacement of the junior high school in Dearborn, Mo. — the oldest portion of the high school/junior high campus and the original high school. There are also roofing projects and the potential addition of band/choir rooms and/or a safe room or shelter area on the high school campus like the one already in place at North Platte Intermediate School in Edgerton, Mo. 

Some of the other possible projects that could occur are technology upgrades and replacing windows and HVAC systems.