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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

Congressman Comes To Hesston For Memorial Day Ceremony

Posted 5/30/2014

By Jackie Nelson

Congressman Mike Pompeo joined Hesston residents and veterans for the Memorial Day Ceremony at Hesston Cemetery on Monday, May 26.

Prior to the ceremony, Pompeo shared insights into issues facing legislators in Washington, D.C.   In keeping with Memorial Day, Pompeo addressed issues facing the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (V.A.). 

“The V.A. funding is in pretty good shape.  It has increased every year I have been in Congress.  The DoD funding has decreased and we have to put some money back there,” he said.

However, Pompeo said he, as a veteran, was aware of wasteful spending within the military.

“As former Army, the military wastes money, too. There are programs that don’t make sense and we’ve got to get rid of them when they’re bad programs, but we need to fund national security right,” he said.

Went it came to Veteran’s Affairs, Pompeo said medical care for veterans is not efficient nor does it provide adequate care for returning and former military.

“The V.A. is a broken system.  There have been lots of calls for the top man to step down or be fired.  I’m fine with that – I’m fine with General Shinseki leaving. But that won’t solve the problem. The problem is a structural problem.  When you try to impose a big-government system to deliver healthcare it is destine to deliver lower-quality, higher-cost, less personalized care.  That is what we are seeing in these problems in Phoenix and other places,” he said. 

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Summer Reading Ready To Blast Off

Posted 5/30/2014

Record Staff

Hesston Public Library is exploding into the Fizz Boom Read Summer Reading Program. 

Hesston Public Library Director Libby Albers said this summer’s science theme will blow kids away.

“We’ll have a different theme each week. That theme could varry from temperature to bubbles to why opposites attract to explosions.  We will tie-dye T-shirts with markers and rubbing alchohol and, of course, Diet Coke and Mentose,” said Albers.
For teens and adults, there will be a relaxing Summer Reading session on aroma therapy and bath fizzies. 

Albers said the fun skyrocket as Summer Reading participants make rockets and have a friendly paper airplane contest. 

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USD 460 LOB Mail Ballot Coming Soon

Posted 5/30/2014

By Jackie Nelson

A dozen Hesston residents attended a question and answer session hosted by Hesston High School and Superintendent Paul Becker regarding the mail-in ballot to raise the Local Option Budget (LOB) rate from 30 percent to 31 percent permanently.

Becker said in an unprecedented move, the state will allow schools passing the LOB rate from 30 percent to 31 percent by vote to increase for one year only to 33 percent. 

“The 33 percent rate is good for one year only. We would have to hold another election for the 33 percent rate to become permanent,” said Becker.

Becker emphasized the percentage increase will not result in an increase in property taxes.

Becker said since the financial strife of 2008, public schools have been affected by cuts to state aid and are working offset those costs by raising Local Option Budgets.

According to Becker, the LOB can be up to 30 percent of the General Fund and, currently, USD 460 is capped at 30 percent. 

The mail ballot being sent to residents, if passed by a simple majority of returned ballots, would allow the USD 460 School Board to increase the LOB to 31 percent.

According to Becker, at 30 percent LOB, USD 460 will receive $268,000 more dollars in state aid.  However, if the LOB is raised to 31 percent permanently by election and the USD 460 school board votes to increase the LOB to 33 percent for one year only, USD 460 will receive an additional $54,000 in funding with no tax increase.

Becker said the funding numbers are subject to slight variation, as district enrollment and valuation play a part in funding.

“These are ballpark numbers that may vary based on enrollment, if valuation increases. Those will affect what the true numbers will be,” he said. 

Becker said funding the LOB is partially locally paid taxes and partially state-funded.

“For every $1 levied, 57 percent is paid by the state,” he said.

Raising the LOB rate is favorable to school districts, as the Capital Outlay Fund, used only for capital improvements, is funded at 41 percent state aid.

Becker said one of the reasons school funding from the state has been dropping is the state has not fully funded the 57 percent.

“Instead of the 100 percent state aid, it was prorated. This year they only paid 78 percent of that $.57 cents,” said Becker.

Becker said the new, recently passed law, compels the state to return to funding the $.57 at 100 percent. 

According to Becker, funds classified as LOB are more easily transferred and more flexible in spending than funds allocated as Capital Outlay and that is an added benefit to USD 460 budgeting and responsible spending.

The election for the new LOB rate will take place throughout the month of June.

Ballots must be submitted no later than noon on June 24. 

For residents not registered to vote, registration deadline is June 3. 

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