Derby voters head to the polls today, Feb. 20,  to determine the fate of a 25-year, $123 million bond issue. Voters will be asked whether to approve a 25-year bond that would fund a new elementary school, renovations to several existing schools, upgrades to the Panther stadium and the construction of a concession stand and restrooms at the soccer complex.

If approved the owner of a $100,000 home in the school district will pay $9.88 more per month in property taxes over the 25-year life of the bond. The Derby Public Schools bills the cost as a “pizza a month.”

Under the latest bond proposal, Pleasantview Elementary would close. It would be replaced by a new school in Stone Creek. Opponents of the bond issue say $1.5 million in renovations would save the school.

That’s not so, according to Derby School Board President Matthew Joyce. He told the Derby Information cuts to state funding made preventative maintenance on the building difficult.

“Basically, we were playing the cards we were dealt,” he said.

 

His comments drew the ire of state Rep. Blake Carpenter, a Republican who represents Derby in the state legislature.

“The Derby School District has seen an increase in total expenditures for the last four school years going back to the 2013-2014 school year,” Carpenter wrote in a letter to the editor of the local paper.

Rep. Blake Carpenter

“To that end, Mr. Joyce’s statements seemingly blame the legislature for lapses in the district’s preventative maintenance standards. The legislature sends the money to the school board, and the local school board decides how the money is spent. The school board has increased its spending over the years instead of reducing their spending like you would see if they had received a cut,” Carpenter wrote.

Voters will find three bond questions on their ballots. The first question asks voters to approve the $114 million in bonds for the bulk of the proposed projects. The second question asks voters to approve $5.5 million in bonds to fund an district activity center, and the third question asks voters to approve $4 million in bonds to upgrade turf on district athletic fields.

Polls close at 7 p.m.

Polling places:

  • Calvary Baptist Church, 1636 E. Patriot Ave., Derby KS 67037
  • Countryside Christian Church, 1919 S. Rock Rd., Wichita KS 67207
  • First Pentecostal Church, 1755 E. MacArthur Rd., Wichita KS 67216
  • Greenwich Road Church of Christ, 1746 S. Greenwich Rd., Wichita KS 67207
  • Pleasantview Baptist Church, 1335 N. Buckner, Derby KS 67037
  • Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 431 S. Woodlawn Blvd., Derby KS 67037

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