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Column: District 518 outlines new intermediate school plan

WORTHINGTON — District 518 has a new plan to present to the district voters on Feb. 12, 2019. This plan is a new intermediate school that will house grades three, four and five with a designed enrollment of 900 students and will be located on the property at Crailsheim Drive.  The election was called at November’s regular school board meeting.

The ballot question that will be presented to district voters is as follows:

“Shall the school board of Independent School District No. 518 (Worthington) be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $32,000,000 to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the construction and equipping of a new grades 3 to 5 intermediate school facility?”

As a part of this, the school board has committed to cover costs above the $32 million amount, which is estimated at $5.8 million for the district general fund balance. During the work session on Oct. 16, the current school board members, candidates for the school board along with administration, discussed the space need, and what would be the most logical direction for the district along with agreeing to the current funding proposal.  

Since the August 2018 bond referendum election, the cost to construct this intermediate school has risen $1.4 million. This is one of the reasons the school board voted to hold the election in February 2019 — due to continued rising construction costs and interest rates. Continuing to avoid addressing the space needs in the district will be more costly to taxpayers over the long-term, which is evident in the current construction estimates.

What will be the estimate tax impact of this proposed bond referendum election?

Residential Home: Estimated Market Value $125,000; Estimated Tax Impact $76.32; Monthly Tax Impact $6.36.

Commercial: Estimated Market Value $250,000; Estimated Tax Impact $327.62; Monthly Tax Impact $27.30.

Ag. Homestead (160 acres): Estimated Market Value $1,288,000; Estimated Tax Impact $375.72; Monthly Tax Impact $31.31.

Ag. Homestead (dollars per acre): Estimated Market Value $7,000; Estimated Tax Impact: $1.62; Monthly Tax Impact: .14.

Ag. Non-Homestead (dollars per acre): Estimated Market Value $7,000; Estimated Tax Impact: $3.24; Monthly Tax Impact .27.

The district will have a tax calculator available at the end of December so each individual taxpayer will be able to look up the estimated tax impact by parcel number for this proposed bond referendum.

The district will be providing additional information to residents over the next couple of months.  This will provide you with factual information prior to the February election along with additional information about the district’s space needs. We ask that you review this information carefully and ask questions to ensure that you have the necessary information to make an informed decision. The district will be scheduling at least one informational meeting prior to the election and mailing other information to support residents. As information is available, it will be placed on the district’s web site at www.isd518.net.

As the district begins to share the factual information about the upcoming election, I would encourage you to schedule meetings with administration or school board members in order to get your questions answered and we all would be more than willing to visit with groups, organizations or businesses that would like district representatives to present the information and answer questions.

Referendum elections are a great deal of work and in order to continue to have quality facilities that meet the needs of the current and future enrollment, it will take all district residents to become involved in the election. I would encourage all of you to get involved, become educated and participate in this election process.

Thank you for the continued support of District 518.

John Landgaard is superintendent of District 518 schools.

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