LPS Gives Thumbs Up to Early $153 Million Bond Election

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Lincoln, Neb.-- After swift approval, Lincoln voters now have the final say about a $153 million bond.

The Lincoln Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the call for an early special election in 2014, three months ahead of the May primary.

"We're pretty excited about getting out to the community and making our case," Lanny Boswell, a member of the board, said.

The bond would help pay for a new middle and elementary school, school security improvements and other facilities/infrastructure changes across LPS.

LPS said the reason they called for an early election is it could save upwards of $600,000 in overall costs towards building and improving current schools, after election fees.

"By starting projects earlier," Boswell said, "three months earlier in this case, we can gain the summer of 2014 to do projects when students aren't in school."

LPS also wants to improve current school security. They said many of the older buildings aren't as safe they'd like. Specifically, they want to redesign some school entrances so that visitors are better funneled in and out of the school.

"I think schools are very safe," Joseph Wright, the LPS Security Director said.

"However, things evolve over time, and we need to keep up and keep pace with things going on."

The schools already have funds to add security cameras to every high school in Lincoln, though Wright couldn't give a time table as to when that might take place.

Boswell said Lancaster County Election Commissioner Dave Shively is leaning toward a mail-in vote. In late November, Shively said he still needed to make a decision as to what kind of vote to hold.

According to LPS, some members of the community said an early vote would hurt voter turnout. But, Shively said he's typically seen a better turnout for mail-in votes.

LPS has been insistent that approval of this bond won't increase the current tax levy or property taxes, because the current bond is rolling over in 2014.

Boswell explains the details of the bond issue in a web extra video attached above.

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