LOUISBURG — Louisburg USD 416 officials have upgraded the district’s website, usd416.org, started a Facebook page and scheduled a public meeting to provide additional information to voters about the district’s bond proposal ahead of the April 7 bond election.
A “Bond 2020” tab has been added to the Louisburg school district’s website that includes a lot of information about the bond proposal. Superintendent Brian Biermann said an informational video will soon be added to the website under the Bond 2020 tab.
Biermann is encouraging district patrons to read the information on the website. He said the district also has started a Facebook page, “Our Kids Our Future Louisburg USD 416,” with information about the bond proposal.
District voters also will have the opportunity to learn more about the bond proposal at a public meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, at Broadmoor Elementary.
The Louisburg USD 416 Board of Education took action in October 2019 to proceed with a bond election on April 7 to upgrade district facilities in need of attention for items like roofs, HVAC systems, technology improvements and enhanced safety measures.
The bond proposal, set up as two questions, would reduce the tax mill levy in the process, school officials said.
The proposed $27.6 million bond in the first question addresses district needs that are divided into three main categories: $10.1 million for facility and efficiency upgrades, $9 million for enhanced learning environments, and $8.5 million for safety and security.
The bond proposal would lower the district’s bond mill rate by five mills from the current 21.541 mills to 16.541 mills. The life of the bond would be 15 years. The district is able to lower the mill rate because it will soon be retiring bonds issued to build Rockville Elementary.
The second question is a proposal to construct a new four-field, baseball/softball complex on school property. The life of the second bond issue for the complex also would be 15 years.
The proposed $6.9 million baseball/softball complex would bring the total of the two ballot questions to $34.5 million, which would mean a 1 mill reduction from 21.541 mills to 20.541 mills if both questions are approved, according to the district.
The two-question proposal is set up so that if the $27.6 million bond fails, the district would not move forward with the second part.
The following is a list of priority items at each school that could be accomplished under the bond project:
Circle Grove: (preschool and district office): Parking lot, sidewalk and drainage improvements; roof repairs and replacement; structure and exterior brick repair; HVAC replacement; window replacement and abatement, classroom wing renovation; door and hardware upgrades.
Rockville Elementary: (kindergarten through second grade): Parking lot/sidewalk repairs and replacement/drainage; special services remodel.
Broadmoor Elemen-tary: (third through fifth grades): Parking lot and sidewalk repairs; roof replacement; window replacement; door and hardware upgrades; interior renovation; HVAC replacement; kitchen remodel.
Louisburg Middle School: Parking lot/sidewalk improvements; roof repairs and replacement; high-wind shelter addition which would double as classrooms; kitchen remodel; HVAC replacement; door and hardware replacement; exterior brick repair. The middle school is the only building in the district without a high-wind shelter.
Louisburg High School: Parking lot/sidewalk improvements; multi-purpose addition; roof repair/replacement.
Districtwide: Techno-logy/security/furniture and equipment; baseball/softball complex; and lighting upgrades.
The mills cited in the two-part proposal are mill rate ceilings, Biermann said. He said the mill rate has the potential to go down even more. The three ways it can go down more are if tax collection rates are higher than 95 percent; the district’s assessed valuation goes up more than 1 percent; or the bond issue is locked in at a lower interest rate than expected.
If any or all of these hold true, the mill rate will drop even more, Biermann said.
Louisburg’s mill rate is currently 64.847. If the first bond issue passes, it would drop to 59.847. If the second bond issue passes, it would drop to 63.847.