Every time it rains outside, it rains inside Buckner Elementary School.

Every time it rains outside, it rains inside Buckner Elementary School.

In the eastern portion of the Fort Osage School District, Buckner serves 350 students.

The roof is in such disrepair that buckets, pails and trash cans line the hall and some of the classrooms if it rains or when snow is melting.

“Our number one priority is the roof at Buckner Elementary,” said Fort Osage Superintendent Mark Enderle. “After the last snow melted, one of our maintenance guys went up onto the roof and could put his fingers underneath one of the roof seams. That is not a good situation.”

In order to address the roof issues at Buckner Elementary as well as several other projects, Fort Osage voters will consider a $7.8 million bond issue Tuesday. The bond issue needs a four-sevenths approval for passage.

The issue would increase the debt service levy, and therefore property taxes, by 11.88-cents. That means an additional $22.57 per year to a homeowner with a $100,000 home and an extra $45.14 per year to someone with a $200,000 home.

Personal property would also be affected. For a personal property owner with $10,000 in property, such as a vehicle, it would mean an additional $3.92 each year. For a person with $30,000 in personal property, it would mean an extra $11.76 per year.

“We know this election is going to be close,” Enderle said. “We have not had a lot of negative feedback, but it all has to do with economics. Some have commented that if we needed these projects done so badly, we should not have built Indian Trails. That would have created its own set of problems.”

Projects funded by the bond issue include roof replacement at Buckner Elementary, the Career and Technology Center, Osage Trail Middle School and Central Office; the replacement of heating and air-conditioning units at all buildings with the exception of Indian Trails; the installation of computer controlled temperature systems throughout the district and the replacement of stadium lighting at Fort Osage High School.

If funding is still available after the completion of those projects, science and Family and Consumer Science classrooms would be renovated at Fort Osage High School.

“Most of our current HVAC units were installed in the mid 1990s,” Enderle said. “They don’t run efficiently, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the replacement parts when they break down.”

As for the stadium lighting, Enderle said it needs to be replaced because the lights no longer have anything to attach to at the top of the frame, causing a dangerous situation.

“We had a couple of lights fall off last summer and when we went to replace them, the crossbeams had deteriorated to the point that there was nothing to attach the lights to,” he said. “We would replace those wooden poles with metal ones that will last for generations to come.”

Shaun Sutton, chairperson for the Keep Improving District School committee, said the key right now is to get the message out into the community about the election and encourage people to vote.

“You don’t win an election by trying to get the ‘no’ people to vote yes,” he sad. “You convince the ‘yes’ people to go out and vote.”

Enderle said if the bond fails, projects such as the roof replacement at Buckner will still have to be done, but the almost $500,000 cost will come out of the district’s already tight operating budget.

He said he is hoping the community will embrace the theme of replace, repair and renovate so the projects can be done while protecting the operating budget at the same time.

“In 2006, when the first phase of Vision 2020 was passed (funding the construction of Indian Trails), 6,528 people voted. A 57 percent majority would be about 4,000 people,” he said. “Our goal is to have at least 4,000 yes votes this year. All we need to do is continue encouraging people to go out and cast their vote.”