ISD 518 Proceeds to Next Stage for $15.3 Million Bond Referendum

Million Bond Referendum (Credits: Reuters)

The District 518 Board of Education advanced its plans for a $15.3 million bond referendum during its recent meeting, held on Tuesday evening in the Worthington High School band room.

The proposed general obligation bond, slated for a vote on Aug. 13, aims to finance a wide range of improvements and enhancements at the high school.

Among the planned upgrades are an expanded and modernized kitchen, the relocation of administrative offices to enhance building security, a new two-story commons and classroom addition, renovations to existing science classrooms, acquisition of new career and technical education equipment, expansion of shop and storage space for the agriculture and metals program, as well as district-wide upgrades to fixtures, furnishings, equipment, and technology.

Million Bond Referendum (Credits: تجارت نیوز)

During Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved the proposal for review and comment by a vote of 6-1, with board member Adam Blume casting the dissenting vote. The proposal will now be forwarded to the Minnesota Department of Education for consideration.

The proposal, a 23-page document, details the district’s student demographics, current facilities, identified deficiencies, project descriptions and benefits, estimated costs, and tentative project timeline.

According to the preliminary schedule, design and preconstruction activities will commence in August and continue through May 2025, with construction slated from June 2025 to June 2027.

Superintendent John Landgaard provided estimates of the tax impact resulting from the bond, indicating that owners of residential properties valued at $200,000 within the district can expect an annual tax increase of approximately $56.19 for the duration of the bond.

Million Bond Referendum (Credits: CNBC)

Commercial and industrial properties valued at $500,000 would see an annual tax increase of around $287.47, while agricultural homestead properties valued at $13,000 per acre and non-homestead agricultural parcels would experience tax increases of 61 cents and $1.21 per acre, respectively.

The Ag2School property tax relief program is expected to offset 70% of the tax burden on homestead and non-homestead agricultural lands.

Landgaard highlighted the need for an additional $6 million facilities maintenance bond, emphasizing its importance for the agricultural community.

Although this bond would not impact residential or commercial property taxes, it would reduce 77 cents per acre for homesteaded agricultural properties and a 44-cent increase for non-homesteaded farm properties.

Residential homestead owners are projected to contribute nearly 23% of the proposed bond, while commercial/industrial properties and agricultural properties are expected to contribute slightly over 16% and 14%, respectively.

Residential non-homestead properties will account for nearly 9% of the bond, with the largest share, approximately 33%, funded by the Ag2School tax credit.

The district aims to address critical infrastructure needs through these proposed bonds, ensuring its educational facilities’ long-term viability and functionality.

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