LIBRARY, BOND ELECTION. Letter, July 1972, to Claire Vincent, State Library.
In regard to your letter of May 5, 1972, concerning the special bond election for the proposed library at Goodland, I have the following suggestions. First of all, your research was well done as the Powers case, 142 Kan. 664, was cited with approval in the case of U.S.D. No. 259 v. Hedrick, 203 Kan. 478, and apparently is still the law.
The form contained in the opinion (enclosed) from the Attorney General's Office of April 30, 1965, to Mr. T. D. Hampton, City Attorney, Fredonia, Kansas still has the endorsement of this office. We suggest that the wording on the official ballot for the board election in Sherman County is inadequate in that it fails to state the total cost of the library project. The exact amount of the expected donations in not necessary as long as the voters are clearly apprised of the total cost of the project and the sources of the necessary funds.
In answer to your second question:
"2. Does the wording of the bond proposal limit the amount of Federal monies to be used in the project to not more or not less than $90,000?";
the wording appears not to place any exact limits on the Federal funds to be used. If the amount is uncertain, we would recommend you adopt the wording of the form in the aforementioned opinion;
". . . the proceeds from the sale of such bonds to be used together with such other state or federal funds as might be available, . . . ";
thus eliminating the possibility of a minimum or maximum amount of federal funds being inferred from phrasing. Again, it is of prime importance that the total cost of the project be clearly set forth in the ballot.
In regard to your third question:
"If no Federal monies are available for this project, can the City of Goodland legally construct a building using only the $275,000.00 raised by the bond issue?";
we would answer in the affirmative provided the ballot informs the people that this will be done, clearly spelling out both alternatives. Of course, it would be most desirable to be certain that the federal funds were available and earmarked before proceeding but we realize this is not always possible.
In the case of Deming v. The Board of Commissioners of the City of Topeka, 148 Kan. 336, the Court held that a bond election was valid for an amount stated that the project would be completed for an amount not exceeding the bonds voted if federal aid could not be obtained.
- Quoted from Kansas Public Library Laws, Attorney General’s Opinions and Rules and Regulations, State Library of Kansas, March 1979.