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Parkway approves language for November bond issue

Parkway’s Board of Education approved a resolution Aug. 6 on the formal ballot language for Proposition S, a $94 million bond issue to be placed on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The bond issue will require a 15-cent per $100 of assessed valuation property tax rate increase – an estimated $62 per year in residential taxes for the average homeowner.

Patty Bedborough, the district’s chief financial officer, said the bond issue will fund school safety and security, maintenance, repairs, improvements, renovations and additions, such as roof repairs, heating/ventilation/air conditioning, plumbing, electricity, accessibility, middle school science labs, furnishing and equipping schools, and technology and fine arts upgrades in aging school buildings, most of which are between 40 and 75 years old. If approved by voters, the projects would begin in the summer of 2015.

Passage of Prop S will require approval by 57.14 percent of voters.

According to district officials, the current (2013) residential tax rate of $4.07 per $100 of assessed valuation is the fourth lowest among 23 St. Louis County districts.

The tax increase would provide $282 million in capital funding through 2026, meaning the district would have enough revenue to be able to put two more bond issues before voters – both of $94 million and tentatively set for the 2018 and 2022 ballots – without requiring another tax increase, officials said.

More than 300 Parkway parents, staff, students and residents participated in a series of meetings as part of a 12- to 18-month study of capital needs, in which they helped identify priorities of need for school improvements, district officials have said. In addition, they provided feedback on draft project lists and helped determine the elements of the final proposal. A community-wide telephone opinion survey also was completed in February 2014, which helped to validate the categories of need and determine the level of community support for a bond issue.


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