South half of Cactus Bar coming down

A crew from Schoenfelder Construction is tearing down the south half of the Cactus Bar and Casino today. A guy on the scene said the north half is going to remain. Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of the fire that badly damaged the bar.

14 thoughts on “South half of Cactus Bar coming down

  1. Ulrich, Wenzel, & Tupper,

    TDR will have an opportunity to share a similar picture with the community next summer when the current Longfellow School is torn down & hauled away. The burned out bar needed to be torn down & hauled away. The current Longfellow School did not!

    Recently, TDR shared information with the community concerning Supt Joe’s proposed new football stadium & MTI dormitories. Why has TDR failed to report to the community about the district’s failure to secure $7 million in Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB) to finance building the new Longfellow School interest free?

    In March 2009, Supt Joe told the community the district needed to postpone locking in the $7 million in Capital Outlay (CO) tax-free bonds to build the new school because the district might be able to secure $7 million in interest-free QSCB to finance building the new school. In May 2009, Supt Joe said so again. On June 5, 2009 if the district’s application for $7 million in interest-fee QSCB to build the new school was rejected. Even if it had been approved, it would have generated ‘zero dollars’ in current financing – in hard times recession years, no one is investing in these tax credit bonds that pay no interest.

    In March 2009, the proposed $7 million CO tax-free bonds investors are buying had an anticipated interest rate around 4.25% with an annual $535,000 payment for 20 years. TDR claims to be a promoter of the ‘Sunshine Laws’ – full disclosure of public information to the people. So, when is TDR planning to tell the people how much Supt Joe’s delay in locking in the new school CO tax-free bonds will cost the taxpayers over the next 20 years? What interest rate & annual payment was locked in this week on the new school’s CO tax-free bonds?

    A month ago at a school board meeting, my wife asked Supt Joe what would be the next program recommend to be cut in the 2010-11 school year due to General Fund (GF) shortages. Supt Joe replied, “Well, football is our next most expense activity”. Why didn’t TDR share Joe’s football response with the community last month?

    A month later, Supt Joe proposed building a $2.5 million football stadium asking for a $1.25 million donation for stadium naming rights. Ten years ago when our economy was booming, a donor may have donated $1.25 million for naming rights to the proposed new football stadium, but such donations are very unlikely in hard times recession years. The district’s approved application for $2.5 million in ‘blue sky’ QSCB is about as worthless as tits on a boar hog – in hard time recession years, no one is investing in these tax credit bonds that pay no interest.

    During the June 8, 2009 school board meeting, when asked if the district could afford to build a $2.5 million football stadium, Supt Joe stated, “The question is can we afford not to do it. We are going to have to do something. We either have to pour $300,000 to $400,000 into the current stadium, but that will not enhance the stadium’s look”. Sounds like the same ‘appearance ruse’ as was used to justify building the new school! Less than two years ago, a structural engineer inspected the stadium & disclosed repair estimated were only in the $250,000 range. Interesting how Supt Joe now claims it might cost $400,000 to do the same repairs without current estimates from experts in a depressed construction economy? According to Supt Joe, the repayment period on the interest-free QSCB loan would be 13 years; on $2.5 million new football stadium that’s an additional CO annual payment of $192,300.

    If solid financial planning principles had been evaluated in March 2009, the new school would not have been built! In March 2009, CO was already over-extended & over-burdened with excessive debt & lease payments (DLP’s). DLP’s should not be more than 30% – in March 2009, the district’s DLP’s were already at 45% of CO’s $2.5 million annual revenue. The down payment on the new school should have been $2 million (25% of the new school’s $8.15 million price tag) – in March 2009, CO’s cash balance was only about $650,000 with a $360,000 payment due in May on the GBR School & 4 more months left in the school year. Business Manager Culhane has publicly stated that the district would have about a $1.3 million CO balance at the end of the current 2008-09 school year later this month. The $1.3 million is Apr 30, 2009 CO local property tax payments intended to cover 2009-10 expenditures with the same amount to be received in Nov 2009. The CO local property tax revenues to be received in May 2010 should be similar – about $1.3 million for the first half of the 2010-11 school year. Thus, the 2009-10 & first half of 2010-11 CO property tax revenues should be about $3.9 million.

    In March 2009, Supt Joe knew investors were not buying interest-free QSCB. Supt Joe used a QSCB ruse to delay locking in the tax-free CO bonding until June 2009 so the district would have adequate CO cash-float revenues to be able to pay the initial installment on the new school debt next spring. In the 2009-10 school year, the district has about $2.1 million in CO debt & lease payments to honor leaving only $500,000 to cover next year’s CO equipment, transportation, & cash buildings-grounds improvements (from 2000-01 thru 2007-08 these CO expenditures averaged about $800,000 requiring a $300,000 cut in these expenditure items); an additional $1 million in CO revenue will be needed to cover cash construction costs on the new school before August 2010 – $3.6 million in CO expenditures from June 30, 2009 to August 2010 with $3.9 million in CO revenues for the same time period leaves only a $300,000 buffer until the next truckload of taxpayer CO cash is delivered to the school in Nov 2010. From 2010-11 thru 2013-14, the district has about 70% of its annual CO revenue tied up in paying DLP’s.

    When is TDR going to share the district’s CO financial facts? Who is the general contractor for the new Longfellow School? Who was identified as potential owner of the proposed MTI dormitory buildings that may be built on district property? Who do you suppose Supt Joe would recommend as the general contractor for the proposed new football stadium? What doe the SD Constitution say about using taxpayer dollars to fund a sectarian run school district? When is TDR going to share the district’s General Fund financial facts? In 2010-11& beyond, the Obama & Congress stimulus money dries up & the district’s GF RIF in educational programs is ugly!

  2. Blah, Blah Blah by Guymon the loser. I thought you had ears? THE PEOPLE/VOTERS said go away! Your ears as well as you common sense do not work.

  3. To Factor Fan:
    If all you can ever say is BLAH, BLAH, BLAH … you need to go back to school — probably you would have to start in kindergarten (or pre-kindergarten)!!!

  4. Ulrich, Wenzel, & Tupper,

    About 1,100 of the 11,380 registered voters approved of maintaining the MSD 17-2 status quo. 9.7% of the registered voters will once again tell the other 90.3% of the registered voters how the people’s school district is going to operate, how the people’s tax dollars will be spent, & how the people’s real estate will be managed!

    Are district leaders listening to all of the people & openly representing all of the people’s interests or are district leaders listening to only their supporters & secretly promoting their sectarian common interests & beliefs?

    All of my Catholic friends who know me all know I am not a Catholic bigot. Anyone who says so is just a Guymon bigot! Once again, here are the MSD 17-2 leadership facts – Supt Joe is Holy Family’s deacon. In the past we had a quorum of board members (Seiler, Everson, & Price) attending Holy Family services. Currently, we have a quorum of board members (Everson, Price, & Freidel) attending Holy Family services. In July, we will continue to have a quorum of board members (Price, Freidel, & Kriese) attending Holy Family services. Kriese is a Holy Family Eucharistic Minister. Who bid did Supt Joe recommend to the board as the general contractor for the new Longfellow School? Who has been identified as the proposed owner of the MTI dormitory apartment buildings that would be built on MTI land? Do any of the principle owners of this corporation attend church services at Holy Family?

    Who served on Supt Joe’s new Longfellow School committee – which church services do they attend? Who served on Supt Joe’s new MHS school committee – which church services do they attend? Who served on Supt Joe’s MMS pool committee – which church service do they attend? Who served on Supt Joe’s new football stadium committee – which church services do they attend? Who served on the district’s MTI dormitory committee – which church services do they attend? Which church services did each of the district’s 2008-09 administrators attend? Which church services will each of the district’s 2009-10 administrator’s attend?

    My financial information came from Business Manager Culhane & NCLB District Report Cards from the past 8 school years (Supt Joe did not provide me with a copy of the 2003-04 District Report Card published in the fall of 2004). When discussing district financial conditions, Supt Joe shared a ‘new money’ twisted spin.
    Supt Joe’s ‘new money’ aggressive spending financial planning only works in prosperous times when the truckloads of taxpayer cash continuously increase each year. When evaluating the district’s General Fund & Capital Outlay current & projected financial positions during hard times, the current year & future years need to be compared to the latest prosperous year base period numbers (2007-08). Obama & Congress delivered truckloads of additional stimulus money to bailout Supt Joe in 2009-10, but truckloads of taxpayer cash are going to shrink in 2010-11 & beyond. In hard times, the cash-float revenues do not increase & funding shortages become a real crisis when the district has been constantly aggressively spending taxpayer dollars living on cash-float with ever increasing revenues.

    Supt Joe’s prosperous times ‘new money’ aggressive spending habits promoted building the new Longfellow School in the hardest times since 1929! Supt Joe has placed Capital Outlay on the edge of a financial crisis cliff until the 2018-19 school year when the $400,000 annual LBW School lease payments to DWU are replaced with annual $30,000 range LBW lease payments until 2038. Supt Joe’s prosperous times ‘new money’ aggressive spending habits promoted an excessive 3-year General Fund payroll increase in the spring of 2008 when every news broadcast, presidential candidate, magazine, & newspaper discussed forecasted dire hard times on the horizon. Supt Joe has placed the General Fund on the edge of a financial crisis cliff in the 2010-11 school year & beyond with the district’s current Cash Reserve likely to be drawn down from $3.3 million to about $500,000 by no later than 2011-12 requiring increased property taxes with the use of the opt-out & a dramatic RIF in educational programs.

    Why did only 13% of MSD 17-2 registered voters take the time to vote on June 2, 2009? As our community’s only newspaper, TDR has an obligation to share the whole truth with the community not just what Supt Joe & his supporting cast wants to spoon feed to TDR. My posted blog comments have shared these facts (Mar – Jun). Unfortunately, only a limited number of registered voters read TDR’s blog comments. It is time for TDR to do more than just talk about ‘Sunshine Laws’ in general terms. It is time to put the ‘Sunshine Laws’ into action by independently investigating MSD 17-2 public information & reporting back to the people on TDR’s front page.

  5. ok, you are making me tired Guymon. Enough is Enough. Seriously, go get counseling.

  6. I respect Mr. Guymon for publicly speaking out about these issues that he believes in. I think if persons who so RUDELY disagree with him, would read and really think about what he is saying, they should be able to understand that Mr. Guymon really has been recommending the best interest of the Mitchell School District and the city of Mitchell. Where would our US Democracy be if noone would stand up and speak out. This is what makes a good Democratic nation — the freedom of speech by all — not by accusing someone like Mr. Guymon of being insane and needing counseling.

  7. Respectfully Disagree, I also believe in his right to an opinion, but I think the others, that are so very rude to him, are lost in all the facts he presents. Maybe if he shortened his messages, it would be easier to follow.

  8. Ulrich, Wenzel, & Tupper,

    How big of a wager did Supt Joe make with taxpayer dollars in March 2009 when he recommended postponing locking in the $7 million in Capital Outlay tax-free bonds needed to build his new Longfellow School? In March 2009, investors were buying these tax-free bonds with a going rate of 4.35%. As disclosed by Supt Joe in March & April 2009, the annual payments on $7 million at 4.35% would have been $535,000 for the next 20 years.

    Supt Joe used a ‘tax credit bond ruse’ to justify postponing locking in the interest rate on the $7 million financing needed to build the new school until after June 5, 2009. In March 2009, Supt Joe knew there was no body buying these interest-free bonds in these hard financial times. On June 5, 2009 the district’s $7 million application for Qualified School Construction Bonds (tax credit/interest-free) was declined in Pierre.

    The real reason why Supt Joe postponed locking in the financing for the new school until no sooner than late May or early June was because Capital Outlay was already over-extended with excessive debt & lease payments in 2009-10 before adding on the new school’s annual payment. In order for the district to be in a position to be able to pay its initial annual installment on the new school in the spring of 2010, the payment had to be scheduled to come due after the district received the April 30, 2010 property taxes so there would be enough dollars in Capital Outlay account to pay the first annual installment payment on the new school.

    Interest rates have been creeping upward over the past two months. A 1% increase in the interest rate from 4.35% to 5.35% on the $7 million in tax-free bonds would increase the annual payment from $535,000 to $585,000 over a 20 year period; $50,000 more than Supt Joe projected in March & April 2009 at the 4.35% interest rate. What interest rate was locked in on the $7 million in tax-free bonds this past week? I heard the interest rate was 1% higher than in March 2009. If so, then Supt Joe’s ‘tax credit bond ruse’ just cost local property tax owners $1 million dollars in higher payments on the new school over the next 20 years. In the private sector, CEO’s are fired on the spot for making such risky decisions & increasing expenses by $1 million dollars due to poor financial planning!

    Was the news released by Supt Joe during Monday’s school board meeting concerning the $2.5 million new football stadium & MTI dormitories just another ruse to cover up the 1% interest rate increase & $1 million increase in payments on the new school? I know the interest rate was not locked in at less than the March 2009 4.35% because if it had come in lower, Supt Joe & his rubberstamping board members would have told us all so on TDR’s front page! For some reason, board members & Supt Joe did not voluntarily disclosed to the people this week what interest rate & payment amount they locked in this week on the new school’s $7 million debt. Wonder why?

  9. Miss Manners,
    I do not care what chicken little has to say. He said vote for him because his ears work. He got whipped, yet here he still is slobbering off topic all over the blogs. A fifh grader is smart enough to run his or her own blog on their own site why does he have to hijack this wonderful forum? If he had his own blog I would NEVER darken his door. Because he has NO RESPECT FOR ANYONE WHO DOES NOR AGREE WITH HIM he is a JERK!

  10. Factor Fan, I don’t agree with either one of you. Why can’t you ignore him? Rude is just as wrong as his Hi-jinks. I just go on past his long ramblings. (Must say tho, if he could shorten his ramblings to a paragraph, I might be tempted to read them.)

  11. I agree with Respectfully Disagree as well. You have to be blind not to see that much of what Craig says is accurate. Unfortunatley, the way he expressed himself was off base and I think that is why he lost so badly. Too bad. I voted for Guymon. Go ahead now and blast me for being “stupid”.

  12. Miss Manner’s only blast’s those that do not allow another opinion.

  13. Don’t worry folks. We have completed negotiations and his home planet has agreed to take him back… Although they aren’t happy about it!

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