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UPDATE: Voters reject $33 million bond in Sergeant Bluff-Luton School District

Update:
SERGEANT BLUFF, IA (KTIV) – Residents have rejected the Seargent Bluff-Luton School bond for a fourth time Tuesday night.

Voters in Woodbury County voted down the measure 981 to 638.

In all, the measure received 39.41% support.

The $33-million dollar bond would have paid for a renovation throughout the district and the construction of a new primary school– which includes students from preschool to 2nd grade.

The bond would have also raised property taxes on a $100-thousand home by about $150.

Had the bond been successful, classes could have begun in the new school as early as 2021.

Previous:
SERGEANT BLUFF, IA (KTIV) – The Sergeant Bluff-Luton School District is proposing building a new primary school to replace the current one.

This isn’t the first time voters have seen a bond issue on their ballots for the school district.

“The core of any community is the schools and the school district,” said Dr. Rod Earleywine, Superintendent of the Sergeant-Bluff School District. “Our facilities in some areas are lacking and we need to realize that its time to do something to improve our facilities.”

For years, the school district has been working to develop a plan for a new school.

“The plan that was developed about 12 years ago was to close the current primary building, and raze it, move those students to the middle school, middle school to high, and build a new high school,” said Earleywine.

But on three separate occasions, those bond issues in the district have been rejected by voters. So this time the school district is taking a different approach.

“That price tag is $33 million,” said Earleywine. “Includes, again, razing the current primary building, building a new primary school.”

Under that proposal, the primary school would be built where the baseball and softball fields currently are.

Of the funds, $4.7 of the $33 million would be used to move the fields to a piece of land at the edge of town.

The primary school includes students from pre-school to 2nd grade.

Nearly $1.7 million will be used for site improvements including those at the elementary school.

“In costs associated with upgrades, more parking, and some upgrades to this building with the entrance into the gymnasium because we use this gymnasium as our high school gymnasium for actives,” said Earleywine. “It’s time to upgrade our facilities.”

So what will the impact be on the pocketbooks of homeowners in the district? There is a calculator on their website for you to find out.

Here’s how it works:

On their website go to the ‘Bond Information’ tab. Once you click on it, scroll down to ‘What’s my Tax Impact?’ on the right side. Put in the assessed value of your home and the calculator does the rest.

For example, if your home is valued at $200,000 the calculator shows a $310 yearly tax increase.

“This time I think we have really scaled everything back,” said Earleywine. “The fear is that we have an aging building that needs millions and millions of dollars of renovation. So one way or another we need to find a way to provide quality instructional buildings and schools for our students.”

For the bond vote to pass, it would take 60 percent of voters to approve it. Earleywine said if it does pass, the current primary school would be torn down and used for green space.

People can vote on the $33 million bond issue right now down at the courthouse.

The district has also set up voting locations Wednesday evening from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. during the district’s open house. You can vote at the primary, elementary, or middle school.

You can also cast your vote on Election Day on Tuesday, September 10.

KTIV Staff

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