What are we getting for $30 million?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     I am perplexed by the bond issue, not because I don’t think we need good schools, but by the way we are bamboozled into supporting it.

     Any dummy can automatically see that $30 million is more costly than building a new school that is far less; but how did we arrive at $30 million to make a solid building good enough for our kids? The same architectural firm that is going to design a new school came up with the figures! How convenient!

     Already there have been a ton of repairs made to the old high school building that will literally be abandoned with a plan to save the gym and only a very small part of the building. Of all the things to save, a gym that will be exceedingly expensive to maintain, especially in winter with its high ceilings and near-zero insulation!

     Having no air conditioning and needing a new boiler system, along with single pane windows and classrooms that are supposedly too small are all lame excuses for not finding ways to make it affordable.

     If I’m not mistaken, enrollment is declining, and class sizes were much larger when the baby boom was on, so what is wrong with classroom size? If it was big enough for seventh through 12th, I have to think it should be good enough for middle school.

     Inefficient windows? Replace some and brick up the rest. We will need the money to replace the elementary schools that were designed more recently and simply don’t meet ADA requirements even with buildings built on one floor! That says a lot about how buildings are designed today; everything is built to be torn down and replaced; anything that lasts for too long is considered too costly to maintain and rehabilitate because we say so and then we tear it down!

     Building schools is not something one needs to compare to buying pizza. These buildings are costly and once we get the first bond issue finished we follow up with a second one. Making that comparison with buying a pizza cheapens what is a really costly project.

     In five years, a medium homeowner would drop over $700 just for this bond issue. It doesn’t figure in the other bonds that are going to have to be paid off on the elementary school, and then there is the extra $25 a month on our city water bill for replacing the sewage treatment place that may cost us even more money in bonding on top of the money being collected because it isn’t enough.

     Who knows what will happen with the National Debt topping higher than it was following the Second World War, and if everything goes in the crapper, who’s going to afford those bonds????

Steve Hanken

Monticello, Iowa



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