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VIDEO | West Bend School District discusses possible referendum total

Dec. 12, 2018 – West Bend, WI – The West Bend School Board discussed moving forward with an April 2019 referendum involving Jackson Elementary School and updates to the West Bend High Schools. Although the board did not put a final figure on the bonding amount the discussion centered on $47 million.


During the meeting board member Ken Schmidt thought the amount the district should ask for in the referendum should be “the lowest possible.”

“I still contend we are over building,” said Schmidt. “There are things that are wants and things that are needs and that’s my concern. We may be over building and the enrollment projections are not there and as I indicated with the high school, I was in favor of safety and the tech ed improvements but some of the other I’m not sure.”

The school board has discussed the districts declining enrollment a number of times.

As far as referendum debt, the WBSD currently has between $38 million and $40 million in referendum debt.

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.

During previous meetings discussion of a $50 million referendum would have actually totaled $85 million with interest, according to Baird.

No interest was provided on the $47 million proposal but one could assume it will come in near the $80 million range.

That means taxpayers in the West Bend School District would have current referendum debt totaling between $118 million – $120 million if the April 2019 referendum is approved.

So far no interest figure for bonding has been determined.

Jackson property



Board member Chris Zwygart, speaking as a person, said, “It has not been determined at this time whether the district is going to referendum at all.”

One item he did make clear was with regard to a house, occupied by a family, that is adjacent to the newly purchased property on Jackson Drive.

“That parcel is not essential to the school property,” he said.

The house is at 16640 Jackson Drive.

The board needs to determine a ballot question by early January 2019 in order for it to be place on the April ballot.

16640 Jackson Drive


Also during Monday’s meeting the board unanimously approved (7-0) to change from credit cards to procurement cards.

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said the cards “give a sizable refund back to the district,” they’re very controllable and the cards are “authorized for specific purposes.”

Kirkegaard said the card also “allows for electronic reconciliation” which will save time.

The district approved starting with the cards for technology and facilities.

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