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FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
A Brave Conversation about the New Building Bond Vote November 7th
In May, after the last bond failed, the Menahga School Board held more listening sessions with the community to understand why people voted no and what the community would support. The outcome of that meeting was a diverse new building committee which included a number of voters who identified themselves as no voters as well as supporters of the last plan. It was co-chaired by Board members Durwin Tomperi and Jon Kangas. After several meetings, this committee returned with a consensus that the district does need space but that the previous project was just too much. With the assistance of the school’s architect, the committee developed a three-phase plan.
Yes votes and no votes will be counted separately for each question. In the end, it will be a matter of, are there more yes votes or more no votes for each question. If question one does not pass, nothing will be built. If only question one passes, we will build the basic plan. Question one must pass for question two votes to matter. If both pass, we build the second plan. Question one and two must pass for question three votes to matter. If all three questions pass, Menahga will build the third plan.
How is this plan different from the last plan? The general high school addition is now 10,000 square feet smaller ($2 million). There is no stage ($1.1 million). There are no additions or remodeling in the elementary school ($7.6 million). These dollar values are approximations, but you can see how the price tag on the new project has been reduced by just over $10 million. This does mean that we will continue to use some spaces that are less than ideal.
If any question is approved, the District will prepay the 2010 and 2012 building additions, totaling approximately $1.7 million, to help offset the tax impact to property owners. The School Board has also committed to underlevies to maintain a level debt service tax rate over the life of the proposed bond issue to further reduce the tax impact on a $100,000 home (the median value in the city of Menahga is $98,000). With that under levy, the tax on a $100,000 will be $17 per year if question one passes. It goes to a total of $41 per year if questions one and two pass. If all three questions pass, the total tax impact on that $100,000 home will be $72 per year or $6 per month.
It has also been asked if we will still get any state aid for the projects. The answer is yes. The state will make payments for 15% of question one if it passes. If both questions one and two pass, the state’s contribution goes up to 29% of the entire $14 million project. If all three questions pass, the state will pay 38% of the payment on the entire $19 million project. This is already calculated into the tax impact.
We now have the tax impact calculator on our website. If you have Ag property, we again ask that you contact Ehlers directly with your parcel ID numbers and they will calculate your personal tax impact.
Remember there are only two polling places on Tuesday, November 7th from 2-8 pm. Menahga school district residents who live in Becker County, except those who reside in Runeberg township, will vote at the Wolf Lake Lions Hall. All other school district residents will vote at the Menahga High School media center. (Please enter door #1 on the east side of the school.) Absentee voting is currently underway at the district office from 7:30-4:00 M-F through November 6th.
Please look for a flyer in the mail next week as well as an ad in the Review Messenger next week.
If you have questions or would like a tour of the school, please feel free to call me at 564-4141extension 4 or email email@example.com
Thank you for making an informed decision.
Kevin Wellen, Superintendent, Menahga Schools
Go Braves…and Warriors!!!