Buses, roofing focus of proposed PPEL increase Tuesday during Independence schools special election | Education News

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Buses, roofing focus of proposed PPEL increase Tuesday during Independence schools special election | Education News


INDEPENDENCE — Independence Community School District residents will decide Tuesday whether to increase its physical plant and equipment levy.

Voters can go to the polls at Falcon Civic Center, 1305 Fifth Ave. NE, from 7 am to 8 pm to decide if the voter-approved PPEL property tax rate rises from $0.40 to $0.67 per $1,000 of taxable property valuation.

8,949 students enrolled in classes, a drop from last year’s number of 9,231 students and from 2020 of 9,522 students.

That translates into an additional $20.61 in annual property taxes on a home with an assessed value of $150,000. For agricultural land, it would amount to an additional $36.52 per 100 acres.

If more than 50% of voters approve the levy, that means about $526,655 annually would be generated for 10 years beginning with fiscal year 2023-24, when combining it with the revenue generated by the school board-approved PPEL levy of $0.33 per $1000 of taxable property valuation.

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Superintendent Russell Reiter said the additional funding would go toward annual replacement of buses as part of the regular rotation rather than every other year. The district would also purchase new buses as opposed to used ones.

“It’s about providing a great education for all kids in the classroom, but we want to continue to maintain our facilities across the district and ensure safe transportation,” he said.

Additionally, a focus is addressing its aging roof at East Elementary School within the next year or two as well maintaining air conditioning at all three of the district schools.

“We’d like to be proactive rather than reactive,” said Reiter. “We don’t want to get to a point where we got leaks in our roofs.”

Developer 'for sure' to demolish church this month, make way for pocket neighborhood

The old church was built in 1916, when it was the Evangelical United Brethren Church, and replaced a building at the time used by the parish and constructed on the same land in 1876.

Without the PPEL funds, the district would rely on its share of the statewide penny sales tax for schools. This could mean delaying maintenance and improvement projects for school facilities.

“We’re trying to be more efficient in our spending on capital projects, while also eliminating interest by paying back debt early,” he said. “We hope to maintain the overall tax rate or even get it down to a slight decrease.”

The Independence Community Schools has about 1,400 students.

Phelps Melody Park & ​​Phelps Youth Pavilion

Tuned-Drums-Toddler-Size_1105.jpg

Tuned-Drums-Toddler-Size_1105.jpg

Tuned Drums are part of the Phelps Melody Park’s outdoor musical instruments.


COURTESY PHOTO

052020bp-wca-improvements-3

052020bp-wca-improvements-3

Exhibits reflect the times at the Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo, Iowa. Photographed Wednesday, May 20, 2020.


BRANDON POLLOCK, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

052020bp-wca-improvements-2

052020bp-wca-improvements-2

Caylin Graham, left, with Kent Shankle, restored paint on many of the interactive pieces at the Phelps Youth Pavilion.


Brandon Pollock


052020bp-wca-improvements-1

052020bp-wca-improvements-1

The new interactive Dinosaur-Ruckus exhibit at the Phelps Youth Pavilion has yet to be enjoyed by children. It was completed just before the COVID-19 closure.


Brandon Pollock


032020ho-phelps-tap-tap-bus-

032020ho-phelps-tap-tap-bus-

The Haitian tap tap bus exhibit at the Phelps Youth Pavilion after receiving a fresh coat of paint last week. Work was being done on the exhibit because the Waterloo Center for the Arts closed for an extended period of time.


Andrew Wind


031919kw-youth-pavilion-01

031919kw-youth-pavilion-01

Cohen Switzer, 4, looks up as he climbs out of a jungle gym under the stairs in the Phelps Youth Pavilion during the World’s Greatest Spring Break in March.


Kelly Wenceslaus


041818bp-phelps-playscape-2

041818bp-phelps-playscape-2

Kids can climb, slide, swing and hang on the new PlayScape at the Phelps Youth Pavilion, which meets all safety standards and requirements.


Brandon Pollock


010319kw-phelps-youth-pavilion-02

010319kw-phelps-youth-pavilion-02

Henry Steffen, 9, peaks out of the Puppet Playhouse at Lucas Steffen , 6, dressed as a unicorn while putting on a play at the Phelps Youth Pavilion on Thursday afternoon.


Kelly Wenceslaus


041818bp-phelps-playscape-3

041818bp-phelps-playscape-3

A bright orange slide entices kids onto the Phelps PlayScape at the youth pavilion.


Brandon Pollock


Get lots of fun

Get lots of fun

AJ Carter, 7, climbs down the jungle gym under the stairs in the Phelps Youth Pavilion on Tuesday afternoon during the World’s Greatest Spring Break.


Kelly Wenceslaus


041818bp-phelps-playscape-1

041818bp-phelps-playscape-1

A view of the five-level Phelps Youth Pavilion PlayScape.


Brandon Pollock


Instruments 1 swirl

Instruments 1 swirl

‘Swirl’ is one of six outdoor musical instruments now available 24/7 for musicians of all ages to play at Phelps Melody Park, outside the Phelps Youth Pavilion and Waterloo Center for the Arts.


CHRIS ZOELLER Courier Staff Photographer

Instruments 4 swirl closeup

Instruments 4 swirl closeup

A close-up view of ‘Swirl,’ with chimes ranging from soprano to alto at the newly completed instrument park outside the Waterloo Center for the Arts.


CHRIS ZOELLER Courier Staff Photographer

Instruments 3 phelps melody park

Instruments 3 phelps melody park

The newly completed Phelps Melody Park outside the Phelps Youth Pavilion and Waterloo Center for the Arts, features from left, ‘Manta Ray,’ ‘Swirl,’ ‘Pagoda Bells,’ ‘Tuned Drums,’ ‘Contrabass Chimes,’ and not shown, ‘Melody.’


CHRIS ZOELLER Courier Staff Photographer

Instruments 2 manta ray

Instruments 2 manta ray

A view of the ‘Manta Ray,’ a multi-octave chime metallophone and one of six outdoor musical instruments at Phelps Melody Park, outside the Phelps Youth Pavilion and Waterloo Center for the Arts.


CHRIS ZOELLER Courier Staff Photographer



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2022-09-11 13:00:00

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