WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE FEBRUARY 12TH REFERENDUM?
Local residents will vote on a single question. This question authorizes up to $32 Million to build a new Intermediate School for 3rd - 5th grade students.
DIDN’T WE JUST VOTE ON A REFERENDUM? WHY IS THERE ANOTHER ONE SO QUICKLY?
The space needs in the District are significant as our communities continue to grow. Once local residents showed that they did not support the August 2018 referendum for a new Intermediate School, the School Board looked for a less expensive strategy to add additional space to accommodate our enrollment growth.
HOW WAS THIS PLAN DEVELOPED?
Since the referendum attempt in August 2018, ISD 518 has held several community meetings with both supporters and opponents of the previous referendum. The District is confident a new Intermediate School would alleviate the overcrowding at the intermediate level. ISD 518 is committed to the existing 9th - 12th Grade High School serving as our District’s High School for the foreseeable future.
The cost of this proposed plan has been reduced from $35 Million to $32 Million, with the District committing $5.8 Million to make this project a reality.
IS OPEN ENROLLMENT FROM OTHER DISTRICTS THE REASON WE NEED MORE SPACE - IF SO, WHY DON’T WE JUST END OPEN ENROLLMENT?
Open enrollment does not cause our space problem, as our resident student population continues to grow. We would need to address these space issues even if we didn’t have as many students enrolling from neighboring districts.
In addition, each student that open enrolls brings their full state funding for their individual education. Ending open enrollment would not alleviate the overcrowding issues we have been facing.
IF THE PLAN IS APPROVED, WILL THIS TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM FOR A WHILE?
ISD 518 is one of a small percentage of school districts in Minnesota that is seeing aggressive growth in student enrollment. Building a new Intermediate School will address space needs at the intermediate level, and the School Board will continue to monitor enrollment trends.
WHERE WILL THE NEW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL BE LOCATED?
On the 155+ acre parcel of District-owned land located south of the existing middle school.
CAN A GOOD INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL BE CONSTRUCTED FOR $32 MILLION?
The actual project costs are currently estimated to be $37.8 Million. However, the District has committed $5.8 Million, a significant financial investment, to help close the funding gap and better assist the community in making our plan a reality. The voter-approved referendum cost for this plan will not exceed $32 Million.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED PLAN?
Additional information about this proposal can be found at www.518forward.com or by contacting ISD 518 at 507.372.2172. Additional resources including tax impact and voter information can be found on the website as well.
WHAT WILL THE IMPACT BE ON MY TAXES IF THIS REFERENDUM PASSES?
Every resident’s tax situation is different. However, for a person who owns a $125,000 house, the estimated monthly tax increase would be $6.36 per month compared to this year’s taxes if the referendum passes.
Visit our tax calculator here to find out your estimated tax impact.
DOES ISD 518 HAVE A FUND BALANCE IN ITS OPERATING BUDGET?
Yes. The School Board tries to meet or exceed standards for careful budgeting with public dollars. In recent years, state officials have provided limited budget increases and delayed payments to schools, so a fund balance helps protect the District from the uncertainty of state funding.
WHEN IS THE ELECTION AND WHERE IS IT BEING HELD?
This election will be held on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 from 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the combined polling location:
Lakeside Church | 1000 Linda Lane Worthington, MN 56187
Early voting is available now Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the following location:
Nobles County Auditor/Treasurer’s Office | 315 10th Street Worthington, MN 56187
More information about early voting can be found on our referendum website here.
ARE PUBLIC MEETINGS BEING HELD ABOUT THE UPCOMING REFERENDUM?
Yes, we are holding two public meetings about the upcoming referendum. Join us for either of the meetings to learn more about the proposed plan.
Saturday, January 12th at 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. @ the High School Cafeteria
Monday, January 14th at 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. @ the High School Cafeteria
In regular elections, I live in a precinct that votes either by mail or on election day at the courthouse. What happens for a special referendum election?
You have three choices: Vote via absentee mail ballot, vote early by going to the Nobles County Auditors/Treasurers Office, or voting on February 12th at Lakeside Church. The expense of mail ballots means they will only be used when a voter requests an absentee ballot.