Voters give bond issue approval
Voters made it obvious there was resounding approval for the Baldwin School District's bond issue Tuesday.
The district's $7.9 million general obligation bond passed with 863 votes, or 75.24 percent of the votes, approving it. Only 284 votes, or 24.76 percent, were against the bond issue.
"I'm just elated," Supt. James White said. "I'm just really pleased."
The $7.9 million bond will be used to construct an elementary building for grades three through five and renovate and add to Baldwin Junior High, Vinland Elementary and Marion Springs Elementary.
This bond is the first step in a 15-year plan for improving the district's schools.
The district's financial advisor John McArthur, senior vice president for Fahnestock, said now was the right time to pass the bond issue.
The bond approval comes at a time when interest rates, currently at 2 percent, are the lowest they've been in 40 years. McArthur said the bond will not raise the current mill levy of 13.4, and the state will contribute 32 percent, or $2.6 million, of the principal and interest payments on the bond.
White said he was pleased with the number of people that voted in favor of the bond issue.
"I'm so happy it wasn't close," he said. "I hadn't heard anything against it (before the election). I didn't know what to think."
He said the bond issue approval votes probably would not have been as high without the bond campaign committee's work.
"They really worked hard to get the information out," White said. "I think they really did have an affect. I'm just really proud of them."
Blaine Cone, campaign committee co-chair, said the committee worked hard to get the information to the voters.
"It helped get the word out to those who had questions," Cone said. "It explained exactly what was needed."
Alison Bauer, campaign committee co-chair, said the committee was pleased with the outcome.
"We feel fabulous," Bauer said. "We feel the voters of Baldwin have given the district a mandate to be ready for the future."
Baldwin resident Diane Wagner said she was pleased with the outcome.
"I think it was the wise decision in town," Wagner said. "Obviously the community is growing and there is never going to be a better situation like this again.
"I think it's a positive thing for Baldwin," she said.
Baldwin's bond issue wasn't the only one that passed Tuesday. Eudora's $16 million bond issue to build a new high school passed with 753 votes, or 64.03 percent of the votes, approving it and 423 votes, or 35.97 percent of the votes, against it.