Superintendent discusses bond issue

The Leavenworth Board of Education has approved the school district’s 2017-2018 budget.

The $52.9 million budget was approved Wednesday at the conclusion of a public hearing. The hearing was brief without any comments from members of the public.

There also was no discussion among board members before the vote.

“I don’t think you should have any concerns," board President Mark Carney said.

Board members reviewed the budget during an Aug. 9 meeting.

According to Chief Financial Officer Kevin Gullett, the budget will keep the district’s mill levy unchanged from the previous school year.

The mill levy is used in determining property taxes. The new budget will keep the mill levy at 63.325 mills.

The budget was approved by a vote of 6-0. Board member Verna Raines was absent.

Also Wednesday, Superintendent Mike Roth mentioned the possibility of a school bond issue in the near future.

With bonds for earlier school construction being paid off, Roth said the district may be able to take on a new bond issue without increasing the mill levy.

The bond issue would have to be approved by voters.

The superintendent suggested board members can talk about a possible bond issue, as well as possible changes to the elementary school attendance boundaries, during a future work session. He suggested board members discuss the direction they want to take the district.

After the meeting, Roth said a new bond issue could include additions to Henry Leavenworth Elementary School and Richard Warren Middle School.

Gullett said Thursday that bonds from a bond issue that paid for the construction of Warren Middle School and other projects should be paid off this school year.

With these bonds being paid off, the mill levy ordinarily would go down for the following year’s budget. But Gullett estimates the school district could borrow between $30 million and $40 million through a new bond issue and keep the mill levy at its current level.

No proposal has been approved yet by the school board, but Roth has indicated a bond issue could be put before voters as early as April.

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