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Voters say no to Little Falls School $36.65 million building bond

A $36.65 million building bond referendum for the Little Falls School District was voted down Tuesday. Vote results were 1,471 yes and 2,197 no. Before the election, there were 9,751 registered voters in the school district. "It's evident that th...

A $36.65 million building bond referendum for the Little Falls School District was voted down Tuesday.

Vote results were 1,471 yes and 2,197 no. Before the election, there were 9,751 registered voters in the school district.

"It's evident that the plan didn't resonate with enough of the voters," Little Falls Superintendent Stephen Jones said. "The Board of Education will regroup and take a look at how to come back with a plan that the taxpayers of the Little Falls Community School District will support."

The question on the ballet was: "Shall the Little Falls Community School Board be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $36.65 million to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the completion of deferred maintenance and repair, remodeling and renovation projects at school sites and facilities districtwide, the construction and installation of security, safety and accessibility improvements to school sites and facilities districtwide; the completion of site work for irrigation and paving improvements; the construction and equipping of a community center/field house addition to the high school facility; and the construction and equipping of an early childhood family education addition to the Lincoln Elementary School site and facility?"

The referendum would have run for 25 years.

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The breakdown of the referendum is as follows:

• Community High School, $7,091,350.

• Community Middle School, $2,859,543.75.

• Lindbergh Elementary, $5,869,760.

• Lincoln Elementary, $561,775.

• Dr. S.G. Knight Elementary, $3,120,283.

• Field House/Community Center, $13,329,200.

• District improvements, $571,250.

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• Early childhood, $2,411,800.

• Anticipated bond costs and capitalized interest total, $835,037.

If the referendum passed, the estimated taxes for a property owner with a $100,000 market value home would have seen a yearly increase of $111 in 2016 on their school taxes. A property owner with a $200,000 market value home would have seen a yearly increase $280 in 2016.

In 2004, the district looked at what improvements its facilities needed and in 2008 completed a facility assessment. Many of the facility improvements identified in 2004 still existed in 2008. As a result, a steering committee comprised of volunteer community members was formed. Since last August, the steering committee hosted 12 public meetings on the building bond referendum.

The high school was constructed in 1972; the middle school in 1960; Lindbergh, 1950; Lincoln, 1965; Dr. S.G. Knight Elementary School, 1959; and the Community Service Center in 2006. The additions of Lindbergh and the middle school were completed in 1993.

*** The numbers in this story have been updated/corrected.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl .

Related Topics: LINCOLN
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