Thursday, January 14, 2016
School Bond Initiative? Yes or No
On Wednesday evening, January 13, 2016, Carrington School District convened a special informative meeting conducted by Superintendent Brian Duchscherer. He gave a PowerPoint presentation detailing the scope of the new school project and how it would impact property owners' taxes.
During the meeting, numerous tax payers expressed concerns as to the affordability of the 23.5 million dollar project. A Carrington resident and taxpayer, Russ Heidt, expressed deep concerns with the impact of this new tax on top of all the other current taxes and obligations facing Carrington homeowners. He questioned Duchscherer about the validity of the total cost for the project and determined that with interest/other expenses/etc. it will more likely cost around $35 million.
Another concern coming from the audience was the potential $700/sq.ft. cost for construction. Two men in the audience questioned why the project was costing so much and gave examples of other schools which were recently being built for much less ($150-$350/sq.ft.) Carter Kleinsauser wondered out loud if we were getting ripped off, and the audience laughed.
Marlene Boyer, a retired teacher from the school district, was particularly concerned about the ability of the elderly, the disabled, and people on fixed incomes to be able to pay for this project. She expressed that her family had received a good education there in the past and wondered if some of the seemingly extra components could be cut from the project.
Charles Linderman stated, "We've got to decide what are our priorities. ... I think the school is our number one priority. ... If you want nice things, you have to pay for them." He compared the $320-a-year-extra cost for a $100K house to a trip that he and his wife might take to Fargo for the weekend, where they would spend much more than that.
Superintendent Duchscherer did an excellent job of answering questions from the audience and presenting facts in favor of the new school project - valid concerns as to why the school district hopes that tax payers will vote yes on February 16th to encumber their properties for the next 20 years.
(For more information, you might want to take a look at the Cardinal Pride Vote Yes Committee page on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/cardinalpridevoteyes/. Also, the "Long Range Planning" page at the Carrington Public Schools site adds ongoing information: http://www.carrington.k12.nd.us/…/bulle…/longrangeplan2.html.)
Also, if you're interested, you may want to attend an information meeting, being hosted by Angela Kutz in Sykeston on Sunday, January 17th at the Parish Hall. It will be at noon with lunch served to everyone who attends. Angela's goal is to get as many facts out as possible so people can make an educated vote.