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Board sets February referendum date

WORTHINGTON -- A bond referendum date for a new approximately $68 million high school in Worthington has been set. Patrons of Independent School District 518 will go to the polls Feb. 13, 2018. Board members voted unanimously for the date during ...

WORTHINGTON - A bond referendum date for a new approximately $68 million high school in Worthington has been set.

 

Patrons of Independent School District 518 will go to the polls Feb. 13, 2018.  Board members voted unanimously for the date during a Wednesday morning special board meeting.

 

The special meeting was called due to three absent board members at last week’s regular school board meeting and a nearing deadline to submit their intent to host a November election.

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Members discussed the urgency to hold an election, but concern with doing so prematurely.

 

“I think Feb. 13 is a good compromise between not having it on Nov. 7, but also not pushing it too far in the future,” said board member Steve Schnieder.

 

District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard said there was also concern expressed regarding a November election by the Nobles County Auditor-Treasurer office. The concern, he said, was that the time between now and a November election may be insufficient to prepare everything necessary.

 

However, members discussed the potential cost-saving attraction with a November election. Regardless of the referendum, the district must conduct, and finance, a November election for a vacant school board seat.  

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“From totally a dollar and cents standpoint, November would be the ideal situation,” said board member Linden Olson via teleconference. “But I just don’t think it’s workable.”

 

Wednesday’s action follows an ongoing discussion how to address the district’s growing enrollment and facility space limitations.

 

The board made the motion to seek a bond referendum for a new high school during its July regular meeting. The board has since continued the discussion at special and committee meetings to try to determine the most strategic referendum date, hopeful for a favorable outcome.

 

The board also discussed potentially hiring a media/communications consultant to help disseminate information to the public.

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Olson also suggested forming a subcommittee of the board to focus on accomplishing disseminating information and rallying a public support group.

 

Olson abstained from the vote due to not being physically present or informing the board of his location three days prior.

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