Bond Referendum helps students [UPDATED]Published 9:33am Wednesday, October 24, 2012 Updated 11:34am Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Since September, I have shared information regarding the Bond Referendum that will be voted on at the Nov. 6 election. I have made made many presentations to service clubs and different organizations within the community.
This project is centered on providing opportunities for our students to be active and healthy, while providing safe venues for our students and fans. Our goal to make sure voters are informed before they go to their polling site.
Frequently asked questions
Why is the School Board
bringing this project
to the District residents?
The School District has a need for onsite fields and bleachers for the players and fans.
Safety and Wellness are key concerns addressed and improved with this project — this plan would lessen travel by our students, provide quality green space that would reduce injuries and is more accessible to physical education classes and the fans would have a handicap accessible bleacher system.
The Kennedy Secondary School’s science classes would have an onsite environmental learning area allowing for more frequent access. Finally, the project interacts with the newly adopted Wellness Policy that not only encourages good nutrition, but also healthy activity.
What is a bond
A bond referendum is a means by which a school district can ask voters to approve tax dollars exclusively for new construction and/or extensive remodeling of existing buildings. Bond referendums cannot be used for salaries or for educational programs.
If the bond issue for the Outdoor Facility Project is approved, will my taxes increase from what I am currently paying?
A 1994 bond referendum will expire in 2013 resulting in a decrease in taxes. The new Outdoor Facility, if approved, would then increase taxes, but at a lower rate.
The net effect on a $100,000 home would be a decrease in taxes paid from the 1994 bond of $24.16 per year to the Outdoor Facility taxes paid of $20.28 per year — a net decrease of $3.88 per year.
Why does the ballot question state that if I vote yes, I am voting for a tax increase?
Minnesota Law requires this language be printed on the ballot even though the net effect of an expiring tax and a new tax is a decrease.
If approved, when would
the project by completed?
The estimation completion date would be October 2013. (The project would begin in April 2013.)
Who would pay
for the bond referendum?
All property owners in School District 544.
Each October the 544 Education Foundation announces their awards for the year. This year the Foundation awarded $21,671.88 in grants to the Fergus Falls School District at its October 11th board meeting. The Foundation received 29 grant requests totaling over $40,000 ($40,703.88). With a $21,950 budget, they were able to fund 21 requests at either full or partial amounts.
The grants ranged from chess sets for kindergartners — to technology items — to welding equipment. I know that each elementary teacher will be very pleased to receive a $100 grant to purchase classroom supplies.
The Fergus Falls Public Schools sincerely thanks the 544 Education Foundation for their generosity and partnership in providing an excellent education to our students.