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Find better ways to finance improvements
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To the Editor:

In reference to the current bond issue, I called the superintendent’s office to determine what the TOTAL ALL-IN COST of the bond issue would be including principle, interest, fees, and other costs. They did not know.

One would think our educators would be sensitive to the burden placed on taxpayers. After a few days, I received a cordial call with the information. IF the bond gets sold at 3.53%, the FEES are 2% ($897,400),

INTEREST is $24,118,693.25, State of Kansas is putting in $11,534,730.90. IF that is paid up front and not annually then we have a starting principle of $65,910,889.10.

IF we redeem the bonds at $4,300,000 per year, we pay off the bonds in 20 years, TOTAL ALL IN COST $89,902,242.86!! Don’t forget we pay the interest on the unpaid balance every year. This is my estimate, the interest rate could be lower or higher; our bond repayment can vary year to year. Although we pay $4 million the first year we pay only approximately $240,000 on the principle.

To the point. Yes we need some improvements. Is a bond issue the way to fund it ... NO! If we paid the $4 million to ourselves and do the projects in order of necessity, spending $4 million/year we could be done in 10 years and save $45 million. Some of the brightest minds are in our  school system. Can we find another way to fund and improve our schools rather than fork over $44,870,000? Our city and county are diminishing in population and prosperity. We have failed to bring in big companies with good jobs and our youth leave the area for better paying jobs. WHO WILL PAY this bond back, our retirees and land lords? Barton has some of the highest tax rates in the state. We need to reduce taxes and draw new companies and higher paying jobs. The last bond issue is paid off lowering taxes. Let’s get smart and find a better way.

John A Peters

Retired Financial Analyst

Class of 1969

Great Bend