‘Yes’ vote vital to school district

To the Editor:
An opportunity awaits the voters of ISD 482. We can’t let it pass us by. Please go to the polls on May 10 and vote “yes” for both questions on the ballot. Both questions are equally important to the success of our students and the vitality of our community.
Question number two addresses the need for additional gym space at the high school. Last year, this space was called a “field house” which caused concern for some as they were thinking we’d be building something that a professional sports team could practice in. This wasn’t, and still isn’t, the case. It’s a matter of needing additional gym facilities. It’s a gymnasium. It’s much like we have now, only larger and more flexible in its use.
Make no mistake, this sorely needed space is to be used first and foremost by the district for school related activities. There are more activities today needing large amounts of space than ever. What a great problem to have. However, Community Education and all the communities within the district will be able to use it for recreation and events as well. This additional space creates a true win-win situation.

— Denise Dempsey, Little Falls

  • J. SKI

    This is far from being “An opportunity” or a “win-win situation”. It’s an unnecessary tax burden on the elderly, farmers, minimum wage earners, and renters.

    Looking at the pie chart on the school districts’ website or on the
    “Fact Sheet” sent in the mail, it shows that only 16% would be spent on “Academics”, which includes “Remodeling and renovation of classrooms, labs, meeting rooms, lockers and physical education rooms district-wide”. I don’t think that “lockers and physical education rooms” qualify as “academics”.

    The pie chart allocates 57% for “Long-Term Maintenance & Repair”, which, in addition to HVAC, roofs, boilers, ventilation, lighting and electrical, includes “site work: irrigation, drainage, and paving improvements”. What it doesn’t tell you is that some of that money will be the repair/reconstruction of the outdoor track as one of the first priorities, and another part diverted to the Belle Prairie “Complex” for the irrigation of soccer fields…another first priority, and perhaps be used for building the parking lot, planting new screening, and adding proposed baseball fields. This may be the “hidden” agenda that the school district is planning over the next 10 years.

    Another piece of the pie allocates 12% for Security & Accessibility. That would add secure entrances to all the schools as well as handicap accessibility to all schools. These are NECESSARY items, and along with roof repair, should be the school districts’ FIRST priorities.

    13% of the pie would go to “ECFE/School Readiness” which would be “Building and equipping a new addition to Lincoln Elementary School”. This would be just another “daycare” option for single parents or working couples as a place to drop their children off.

    Although the school district has divided last years questions into 2 questions, those questions are too vague to deserve anything but “NO” votes, and things have been added that shouldn’t even be a part of any referendum. The “Long-Term Maintenance and Repair” as “site work” is the worst part of this referendum as it could be spent on anything the district WANTS, not what it NEEDS.

    Should this referendum pass, the district will spent $11,211,900 (57%) as they please, and then they will be asking for more in future referendums for “deferred maintenance”. If the second question passes, taxpayers will have the “opportunity” to pay for a 25 year period with additional “deferred maintenance” referendums for the “new building additions”…where’s the win-win in that?