The Pryor Times

February 28, 2013

Bond issue vote Tuesday

The Pryor Times

LOCUST GROVE, OK — On March 5, Locust Grove Public School will have two bonds up for approval.   

The first, if approved, would provide the district with a brand new high school. The total cost of proposal one is listed on the ballot as $9,470,000. However, $2,970,000 of the bond will cover interest, which leaves $6.5 million for construction.

Locust Grove Public School’s bond website says the new school will be built on property just off Joe Koelsch Drive. The current high school was built in 1966, and is the oldest facility in the Locust Grove district.

The bond site explains the school will be built using monolithic domes, because it is 37 percent cheaper than conventional construction. The website says domes are safer and more efficient, operating for a fraction of the cost when it comes to energy. The domes are FEMA certified and can withstand a direct hit from a tornado.

The bond website hosts a video asking the question, “Why do we need a new High School?” A question that is answered by Locust Grove students, who list everything from “funny smells” and mold to cracked windows and leaks.

The second proposal would provide four new route buses and two 12-passenger vans. The total cost is $300,000 for this proposal.

The bond site provides mileage charts and stating that 151,714 miles were put on Locust Grove school buses last year.

The site states that taxes will not go up if the bond is approved, and that the current millage rate will remain. What is does not say, is that millage, or property taxes, will go down if the bond fails. The last dome project approved, for $2.5 million, has peaked, and the tax amount will decrease if the new bond does not pass. Property owners pay for the bond as the millage is accessed on property tax.

To calculate the property tax, the assessed value of the property is multiplied by the mill rate and then divided by 1,000. For example, a property with an assessed value of $50,000 located in a municipality with a mill rate of 20 mills would have a property tax bill of $1,000 per year. At the current mill rate, $50,000 worth of property in Locust Grove would have a $3,761 tax bill.

Locust Grove had the highest levy in the county in 2012. Locust Grove currently pays 94.82 mills. Chouteau School District pays the least at 75.22. Pryor School District pays 85.09 and Adair pays 86.66. At slightly more, Salina School District pays 87.83 and Osage pays 81.46.