School residents say no to facilitiesPublished 11:24am Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Taxpayers finally said “no” to another tax increase when they voted down the Outdoor Facilities Bond Referendum Tuesday 54 to 46 percent.
Fergus Falls residents have recently had to accept additional taxes to pay for the community arena, new police station and courthouse. New outdoor facilities at the schools might have been the “one more thing” residents were not willing to pay for.
“I think not everybody came to a presentation or listened to the radio or watched the TV shows or read the mailing,” said Ness. “Some people didn’t know about the project and just read on the ballot they would be voting for a tax increase so they voted ‘no,’”
From here, the school board will begin new discussions about how to approach the issues with the outdoor facilities. The grandstand on the home side of the football field will need to be replaced within the next several years no matter what because of safety concerns, he said.
“At the next school board meeting, we will see what the board wants to do,” Ness said. “We don’t have a ‘plan B’ yet, but we will have to sit down and talk about the issues.”
A new plan would begin with a lot of community input. Residents would be asked what they think should be done and how much they would be willing to pay. Any new plan would be based off of what would be gathered from the community, he said.
Although the referendum was voted down, Ness said he wasn’t too disapointed by the number of people who came out to vote “yes.”
“Getting 46 percent was pretty impressive,” Ness said. “That means we really got the word out.”