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.