Bond Issue Election

Posted by Larry Roth on 7/16/2021



Voters in Harvey County USD No.439 (Sedgwick Schools) will go to the polls on Tuesday, August 31 to consider a bond issue to make additions and improvements to district schools in Sedgwick.

The bond proposal requests the authority to issue no more than $13.8 million in general obligation bonds to finance the proposed improvements.  The proposal was developed over many years of study and input from patrons as well as staff in the District.

 Recently, the USD 439 Board of Education adopted a resolution calling the election and requesting permission to hold such election from the State Board of Education.  The resolution was approved by unanimous vote.  The State Board of Education has since approved the request and actually granted USD 439 bond and interest state aid on all of the proposed projects.

 The proposal is to construct a new Library/Media Center addition, a new PE addition including gym, storm shelter, and other support areas, and also additional classroom and offices with connecting corridors.  The plan also includes renovations to the R. L. Wright Elementary School as well as the Junior-Senior High building.   A new 8-lane polyurethane track and the football field will be elevated at the current site to alleviate flooding challenges is also proposed.  Various site and other improvements are part of the plan.

 The District feels that now is an opportune time for the needed capital improvements.  Interest rates are near historic low levels and the state aid program currently offers 30% additional state aid monies to subsidize both principal and interest on the bonds.  The last capital improvement bond issue in USD 439 was issued nearly 25 years ago and was paid off 9 years ago.   Sedgwick USD 439’s total mill rate at 43.172 mills is the lowest of all 42 school districts in the area.   The District has no outstanding bonded indebtedness which is unique as compared to neighboring schools.

 The proposed bond issue is estimated to require a mill levy of 15.27 mills.  A mill is $1 of tax on each $1,000 of assessed value of property in the District.

 The District is forming a K.I.D.S. Committee (Keep Improving District Schools) to help educate USD 439 voters about challenges, proposed solutions, and the bond issue cost.   The goal of the K.I.D.S. Committee is that every voter in USD 439 have adequate and accurate information to make an informed decision on August 31st.   Co-chairs of the Committee are Lori Kasney and Diane Thompson.  Anyone wishing to join the KIDS Committee efforts are encouraged to contact either Lori, Diane or Superintendent Larry Roth at the District offices (316-772-5783).


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