April ballot seeks $24.9 million
By Erik Buchinger
The Clintonville School Board unanimously approved to ask residents about an estimated $24.9 million referendum for a new elementary school.
The community will be able to vote whether or not to build a new elementary school in Clintonville on April 4.
The tax impact would be no more than $98 for $100,000 property value, which would be for the first five years before dropping off to the same level.
Board member Ben Huber said the Elementary School Task Force did a good job throughout the process.
“It was open, and where there some flaws? Sure, but it was a good process,” Huber said. “When it came down to giving people an option of spending $18-20 million on refurbishing an old building or $24.9 million on a new building, it became pretty easy to make that call.”
Huber said he thinks the total cost could be less than estimated.
“I personally think it could be done for less than that,” Huber said. “I think when you look back at about 10 years ago when we had a referendum for improving the heating systems in all these buildings and energy upgrades, we’ve done much of that upgrading over the years, and it’s been significantly less than those projections.”
Huber said he is being cautious throughout this process.
“I’m going to vote to authorize the referendum, but I have some reservations,” Huber said.
School Board President Jim Dins said both sides of the issue have made their case, which will now go to a vote for the final decision.
“I have some reservations too, but when I look at what the public came up with, their voices has spoken, and that’s what we’ve got,” Dins said.
If the vote goes through, the Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School, which has been open since 1918, would be demolished following the completion of the new school.
“We’ll hear what the people have to say,” Huber said.
Mark Zachow, Tom Neely, Huber, Lori Poppe and Dins all voted to have the referendum for the public, while Jim Schultz and Clyde Tellock were absent from the meeting.