School Board Postpones Public Vote

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NEW HAMPTON- New Hampton School Board members say they would like to take a vote on the school facility project to the public in September.  Last week, members discussed the possibly of a vote on the April ballot, which would require the board to file the necessary paperwork by February 14th.

Superintendent Dr. Jay Jurrens says an April vote might not be enough time to complete the goal of trying to inform the community of the district’s plans and finalize language that will be placed on the ballot.

Three votes will be likely on the ballot.  The questions will ask the voting public to approve indebtedness and issue general obligation bonds for a Middle School, levy an annual tax of up to $4.05 per $1,000 dollar valuation, and provide additional funds to be generated for a new elementary. Board president Tom Rasmussen says a September vote will allow for more time to reach the community.

Waiting to hold a public vote in September will add an additional projected expense to the project of close to $1-million dollars due to rising construction costs and inflation, but board members say they want to make sure the community is on board with the facility project.  Rasmussen says community committee groups will be formed to help inform people of the plans.

Due to Iowa law, schools can only hold an election in February, April, September and December. The estimated cost for a new Middle School ranges from $13 to $14 million dollars, while a new elementary school ranges from $19.6 million to $21 million dollars.  The next regularly scheduled school board meeting is February 10th in the High School Library.

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