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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pierce City School Board votes on bond issue ballot language

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Pierce City R-6 Board of Education approved ballot language for the school's new building project and heard a presentation from Jay Bierkortte of Historic Pierce City (HPC) during its July meeting.

After voters rejected a bond issue in the April election, board members voted to place a revised $3.9 million bond issue proposal on the November ballot.

The new plan includes a new middle school building and vo-ag facility with new art and music rooms. Bond funding will also assist in the completion of additional remodeling and repair improvements to existing facilities.

L.J. Hart and Company will provide municipal bond underwriting services to the school district for the issuing of the bonds.

"We are asking voters for half of what was previously asked," said Superintendent Russ Moreland. "We want the community to know we have listened to them."

If passed by voters, approximately half of the Qualified School Construction and Qualified Zone Academy Bonds will have zero interest, which will result in an estimated savings of over $8,000 per year for the 15-year duration of the loan.

The Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) will determine the portion of the bond funds that will be allocated.

The presentation given by Bierkortte directed attention to Historic Pierce City's desire to save the middle school building, a long sought after plan of HPC members.

According to Bierkortte, he had talked with an associate of Commerce Bank in St. Louis, which purchases facilties such as schools, pays off the current lease and then sell the facility back to local investors. Commerce Bank offered to purchase the Pierce City School for .88 cents per dollar value.

Bierkortte noted that certain requirements must be met to qualify for this type of loan. The qualifications include the following:

* The building must be in State Historical status.

* Funds in the amount of $25,000 must be allotted to the bank in advance.

* Investors, who are willing to finance the repurchase of the school, have to be found.

"Historic Pierce City's goal is to save the building," said Bierkortte. "We (HPC) want to create a legacy."

School board member David Jones said it was an interesting concept. After continued discussion, board members made the decision to approve the revised ballot as previously discussed. The bond issue, which will be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot, will be held and conducted by Lawrence, Newton and Barry county clerks under the general election laws that govern those counties.

The Pierce City Library will be the polling place for the Pierce City precinct for Lawrence County residents. Barry County residents in the Capps Creek precinct will be voting at the Monett Airport, and those in the Monett precinct will be voting at the Monett Casino. In Newton County, Wentworth residents will cast their votes at Wentworth City Hall.

In other business, Abby Winston was hired as a paraprofessional for the 2009-10 school year. Winston will be serving as the Title I preschool aid, replacing Jan Peckham, who has taken the position as an aid in the Early Childhood Special Education room.

Brandi Lendell was also hired as a paraprofessional and will be working with a student who requires an aide on a daily basis. Lendell will be replacing Cindy Miller who is leaving the district.

Board members approved a three-year agreement with Life Touch Photography. Life Touch will be giving the school district yearly bonuses for using their services, and the prices of picture packages will not increase.

The next regular Pierce City School Board meeting will be held Aug. 27.



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