BAXTER SPRINGS Dennis Burke from Baxter Springs USD 508 presented the School Bond Issue to the Baxter Springs City Council. The bonds will be used for the purpose of providing funds to pay the costs to construct, equip and furnish the construction of FEMA certified storm shelters at each school building and will also serve as classroom space. A portion of these shelters will be made available to the public outside of the school day. Will also relocate the 7th and 8th grade classrooms to their own addition at Baxter Springs High School, relocate the 6th grade classrooms to their own addition at Central Elementary School, construction of a dining area at Central Elementary and the construction of two additional Kindergarten classrooms at Lincoln Elementary.

Despite the current economy, Burke said there are reasons for doing the project now. Construction costs are at the lowest they have been in over five years. Also under current Kansas law, the State of Kansas will pay 58 percent of the principal and interest on the bond issue. Under the Governor's current finance plan, state aid to school districts for building projects would be eliminated as of July 1. If passed, this bond issue would receive the state aid for the life of the bond (20 years).

The general obligation amount of the bond will be $8 million. The voting on this issue will be May 8.

The council approved the purchase of a new 11 foot by 10 foot commercial grade steel overhead door for the fire station. The door that is currently being used is old and has fallen down a few inches. It currently has about 4 inches of clearance between the door and the fire truck. The proposed amount of the door is $2,400 and will be purchased from Taylor Overhead Door. The money to purchase the door will come out of the property budget.

The council also approved the motion to apply for a forestry grant in the amount of $3,000 which will go towards the purchase of new equipment. Also approved was the purchase of a new Grasshopper mower in the amount of $14,223.75 which comes in under what the council had budgeted. The Appropriation Ordinance #3248 was approved in the amounts of $58,287.27 accounts payable and $44,883.68 payroll for a total of $103,170.95