Nov. 27, 2018 – West Bend, WI – There was an 84-14 vote of the electorate (residents 18 years old and older and living in the West Bend School District) on Monday, Nov. 26, during a special meeting in the West Bend School District.
The vote encouraged the board to move forward with the purchase of a 7.3-acre parcel in Jackson.
During the regular board meeting on a vote of 4-1 the board approved moving forward with the purchase of property in Jackson. Chris Zwygart, Tonnie Schmidt, Joel Ongert, and Tiffany Larson voted in favor of purchase. Board member Ken Schmidt was the only dissenting vote. Board members Kurt Rebholz and Nancy Justman were absent.
The board said the purchase would not be more than $750,000.
A couple of notes:
-Taking a look at the current referendums the West Bend School District is currently paying off….
In April 2009, voters in West Bend approved a $29.3 million plan to renovate, as well as build an addition to Badger Middle School.
In November 2012 the West Bend School District passed a $22.8 million referendum to close Barton Elementary School, expand Silverbrook School and add classrooms and a gym at Green Tree Elementary School. The actual total cost of the referendum with taxes and interest was $31.975 million with a 15-year payback on borrowing.
After the Nov. 2012 referendum passed the $31.9 million total was added on top of the $29.3 million payment for the 2009 Badger referendum.
The target date to completely pay off the debt on both referendums is 2028.
-The referendum costs in August 2018 for a new Jackson Elementary and renovations to the high schools was estimated at about $50 million with an additional $35 million in interest for a total estimated at $85 million. The proposal for a current April 2019 referendum have not yet been released.
-Board member Ken Schmidt has talked about the interest costs being posted on the ballot to give a clear picture of how much the referendum would total. Board President Joel Ongert said in a meeting in August the interest would not be on the ballot.
-The West Bend School District last reported a drop in enrollment of 85 students.
-The School Board has regularly set aside $250,000 for the Jackson Elementary Fund, also known as Fund 46. During a meeting in May it was noted there was $4 million in Fund 46 however $2.5 million was designated for Jackson Elementary.
-WBSD for 2018-19 school year has mill rate $7.97 cents.
-Fund 46 would have been used to offset the cost of a future referendum involving Jackson Elementary. This year, for the first time since the fund started, the board approved setting aside $20,000 for the Jackson Fund. Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said they would see “how our budget is performing.” He said the district would look at whether to contribute to the Jackson Fund in spring 2019.
-During a meeting in August, Bray Architects recommended the Jackson Fund not be saved to reduce the referendum but instead to pay down debt.
-In August the board discussed a new two-story Jackson Elementary.
-Over the summer the district spent $16,500 on a survey regarding the future of Jackson Elementary and the West Bend High Schools. Only some, not all, of the survey results were shared with the community.
-The next board meeting is Dec. 10.