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Rain dampens community spirits about proposed $112.8 M bond

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Heavy rains fell across McPherson on Sunday, flooding the current site of McPherson High School. As water pooled at the site, it led many community members to wonder how suitable the site is for an additional school and two fields, as is proposed in the $112.8 million bond voters are being asked to consider June 8.

“The city has done extensive work, millions of dollars of work, to attempt to alleviate flooding in that area,” Walter
Luby of McPherson said. “It hasn’t worked. Now they want to add another school and fields there. Fields which will
need repair after each rain.”

Luby is concerned the flooding issues will leave the school district in a financial bind. He said he expects architects will attempt to build flood mitigation into the bond project, which could be costly and isn’t guaranteed to work. Or the other option is ongoing flooding at the site, which could lead to additional money needing to be spent
to repair fields.

“Either way, I just see it being a headache for them and costly for taxpayers,” Luby said. “This doesn’t seem
to be the best site to build on.”

The McPherson News-Ledger reached out to the district as well as DLR Group regarding the flooding and
how it will impact the fields but did not receive a reply before press time.

Advance voting is now underway, and registered voters can cast their vote at the McPherson County Courthouse. Advance voting began May 19. For those who would like to wait until election day, votes can be cast on June
8. Any registered voter living within the boundaries of USD-418 is eligible to vote.

Voters will be asked to consider two questions. One is regarding the proposed $112.8 million bond. The second is a continuation of the 1% sales tax in the city, of which one-half cent would go to the school district to assist with the bond. The one-half-cent sales tax that would be allocated to the school district is not a tax increase, however, the
tax was scheduled to come to an end in three years. If the bond and sales tax questions both pass, McPherson residents will not see a reduction in this tax for 30 years, the life of the bond. Additionally, the $112.8 million bond results in interest totaling $89 million.