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VIDEO | Jackson man questions West Bend School District spending

Nov. 24, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Dan Leonard from Jackson recently spoke before the West Bend School Board about its spending and plans for a referendum in Jackson.

“I see on the agenda you’re talking about a potential land purchase this time so I put the potential land purchase and the proposed elementary school on my card

The meat and potatoes of the actual moving of the elementary school. I received the reports and went over them and it all makes sense to me but what I didn’t get to last time I’m not trying to limit the scope of upgrading the elementary school I’m here to help. There’s a lot of ‘what if’s’ surrounding everything that’s gone on at Jackson Elementary but going over things that were done in the past is not productive in this case.

A few examples anyway would be the roof. There are so many variations of age, during any of the remodels why wasn’t the whole roof handled? Similar issues in plumbing and HVAC, not to mention the American’s with Disabilities Act which was made in 1990 if I’m not mistaken. There’s been quite a few remodels since then and even road construction. Why weren’t some of those issues fixed long ago?

But we must look at what is now and what is it’s on prime land with great potential. Ease of doing the project where it is ie. no buying land.

On a side note what is the board even considering this option for? From what I heard last meeting your spending is exceeding your revenue. We can blame all day but the bottom line is if revenue goes down spending must go down.

If I ran my business how the school district can run I’d be out of business.  That’s unacceptable in itself.

The main point is the Jackson Police and Fire and the Public Safety Building, is that land we’re discussing and you guys buying and that leaves Jackson to figure out where to put their Public Safety Building and there’s not much options for Jackson other than on the outskirts of town and then that neglects the whole other half of town for response time, possible home owners insurance increases for that half of town, etc.

My good question would be what happens to the current land. The current land has a lot more potential and value than the farm/swamp land the proposed site is on.

Does the district see dollar signs going to sell the better, more-valuable land to a developer and moving the school to a less desirable location all while blowing Jackson off and making them figure out a new place for the Public Safety Building.

There isn’t many options for Jackson and the other side would be the never-ending taxes.

I understand the need to upgrade and no qualms there, I’m all for that,  but the land that it is on has great potential.

We can easily fix the multi levels of the school and easily fix the access when remodeling and back the school away from Jackson Drive and we can do two or three lanes one way, no drop off and that gets traffic off Jackson Drive and you can put handicap parking up there too.  That all handles that.

I’ve lived and traveled in Jackson and even during school outage that’s not a bad area, it’s bad for the kids crossing the street and all that but it’s not a busy street other than for the people that live there and moving it to the opposite corner isn’t going to change anything.

My main thing is Jackson needs an upgraded Public Safety Building and their waiting on you guys to figure all this out  and it just seems silly that you’re choosing the more difficult route to … you know you have to spend more money and it’s a lot more headaches and there are houses in between all the land that the school district wants but it just seems silly when the land where it’s at would be best fit.”








On Monday, Nov. 26 the West Bend School Board will hold three meetings. Agenda items include a proposed April 2019 referendum, land purchase in Jackson.


West Bend School Board Monday meeting

The first meeting Nov. 26 is a Board Work Session at 5:15 p.m.  The meeting will be held at the Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend
5:15 pm, Board Room.  The meeting is open to the public.


WBSB meeting on Monday, Nov. 26

The second meeting Nov. 26 is in the Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend 6:15 pm, Board Room Meeting of Electors  The meeting is open to the public.
WBSD agenda
The final meeting on Monday is the Regular Board of Education Meeting Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 Location: Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend  Time: 6:30 p.m., Board Room. The meeting is open to the public.
Note: Action Items !. 6:58 Resolution to approve the purchase of certain real property.
Category Action Items Subject  6:58 Resolution to approve the purchase of certain real property
I move to approve the resolution authorizing the purchase of real property located at W204 N16722 and W204 N16690 Jackson Drive, Jackson, Wisconsin for a total purchase price not to exceed $750,000.

Topic and Background:

In approximately 2009 the West Bend School District purchased a 6.38 acre parcel of land on Jackson Dr. in the Village of Jackson in anticipation of reconstructing the existing Jackson Elementary. Since the purchased property was small for an elementary school, discussions occurred at the time between the district and village about securing additional land to the north that was owned by the Village of Jackson.


In recognition that the district was moving toward the building a new Jackson Elementary on the new site, the Jackson DPW moved to a new site and the Village began searching for a property on which to construct a new safety building to house the police and fire departments.


In early 2017, the district and the village agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to have appraisals done on the existing Jackson Elementary, Fire Department and DPW properties. Each party paid for the appraisal of their individual properties and agreed to exchange the documents. Each party recognized the importance of securing the additional property for any potential new school.


Within the last several weeks the Village has put in an offer on the site for the new safety building. The offer has been accepted and closing is set for mid – December. The village offer to purchase is contingent upon the sale of the existing DPW and Fire Department parcels.


Since a new safety building would not be complete prior to the sale of the property, the district would lease the fire department back to the village for a minimal sum. The village would be responsible for all maintenance and utilities associated with the building.



Regardless of whether the board decides to have a referendum in spring of 2019, the property to the north of our vacant land would make our property a much better site for an elementary building. Furthermore, the purchase of this property would enable the Village of Jackson to move ahead with their plans.


Total purchase price $750,000.00.

WBSD resolution to approve property purchase

A couple of notes:

-The West Bend School District owes about $130 million on current referendum debt. That debt is slated to be paid off in 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.

-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.

-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.


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