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Hudson School Board Sets April 3 Referendum Date for Dog Track Purchase

After hearing and approving the financing plan, the Hudson School District Board of Education approved an April 3 referendum to purchase the St. Croix Meadows dog track property for $8.25 million.

We're going to have a school district referendum on our ballots on April 3, 2012.

The Board of Education on Tuesday at its monthly meeting at voted unanimously to set the referendum date for its to coincide with next spring's general election.

Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten said the general election date was recommended over the February primary election date for three reasons: to allow the most time to satisfy all the conditions in the purchase agreement, because informal information shows that the community prefers a referendum to occur at general elections and to allow more time to gather information about a proposed land donation by the owner of the .

Dog Track Building Structurally Sound

Early in the meeting, Sam Statz of Hoffman LLC presented a report on the dog track facility declaring it structurally sound. He said with renovations, the facility could serve well as a school building and save the district millions in the process. Despite being structurally sound, the building does require significant maintenance, including a new roof, which would cut into those cost savings.

What Will It Cost Taxpayers?

Brian Brewer of Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. delivered his report on how the district could best finance the purchase of the dog track property. Brewer explained that the district was in a good position to take on the additional debt and that the estimated property tax impact would be about $13.50 per year for a $150,000 property, about $18 per year for a $200,000 property and about $22.50 per year for a $250,000 property.

Many Questions Remain About Land Donation

The by Chris Hanson and family was also discussed at the meeting. Many questions about the land's suitability as a secondary school site arose. Tim Erickson, financial services director for the school district, said the exact location of the potential 65-acre land donation hasn't been determined, which makes a suitability study difficult. He did say that the land up for donation would likely be in the northwestern portion of the property.

The grade of the land would need to be leveled out, which opens doors to many DNR restrictions. The site's sewer capacity is also a question that needs to be addressed. A housing development to the west is also a concern as are zoning and roadway access.

Bowen-Eggebraaten said the district will seek more information about the site from the owner in the coming weeks in an effort to determine its usability.

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More information

All right November 11, 2011 at 04:13 PM
There are too many questions and too few answers at this point. Given that, the school board has given me no reason to vote 'yes'.
Dan BV November 11, 2011 at 08:35 PM
There are answers to all the questions you have. The vote is 4 months away. Whether you choose to actually ask questions is up to you. Whether you listen to the answers is up to you. Or, you can just believe that you are being "bamboozled" or are going to be "bamboozled", or simply not bother to listen and understand and make an informed decision. But that does make your decision "uninformed." The school district actually does not hide information. If anything, they can provide so much that it is overwhelming. But, it's not "bamboozling" and it's not "spin."
Frazzle November 12, 2011 at 01:07 AM
Ahhh I have been keeping track. There have been no answers to my questions thus far.
Hudson Resident November 13, 2011 at 11:43 PM
Just wait for the Spin Doctor coming to a newspaper near you soon....
Frazzle November 14, 2011 at 02:37 AM
Mrs.Peel. Please watch your vulgar tone with me. Do you see vulgarity in my posts? I was responded in my second post to Dan BV who said all our answers are there. And to answer your question with children in the public school I very much follow what is going on. Might I suggest you take a step back and tone down your attitude. I am not the only person out there who would like some answers. So chillax a bit. Go start start your recall Walker effort or something.

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