Northeast Iowa Voters Deciding School Issues Today
Bond issues are on the ballot in four northeast Iowa school districts today (Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016).
In Janesville, voters are being asked to decide a $5.4 million referendum that would generate money to finance a new gymnasium and additional classroom space for elementary and early childhood education. The bond issue requires a 60-percent super-majority to pass.
According to district officials, elementary class sizes are larger than the current facility can support. If the referendum is passed, two new elementary classrooms (with space potential for two more), a new preschool classroom and nap room, and a new competition gym with locker space would be built.
District officials said the proposed gymnasium would be larger than the current gym, which has a basketball court that is too small to meet state regulations. Spectator capacity would also increase from the current 523 to 860.
Passage of the bond issue would result in a property tax increase of $2.70 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The referendum in Janesville is similar to a previous measure that failed by just 14 votes in April.
In the East Buchanan School District, voters are being asked to approve a $6.5 million measure that fund improvements at the high school in Winthop. The money would finance an industrial tech addition, a multi-purpose and storm shelter room, and a new gymnasium with locker rooms and fine arts stage.
The bond issue is a scaled-back version of a $7.2 million measure that garnered only 48-percent vote last fall.
Also today, voters in the Cedar Falls and Tripoli school districts are being asked to renew physical plant and equipment levies (PPEL) to finance infrastructure improvements for another 10 years.