Minden High School bond issue fails

MINDEN — The proposed $25,995,000 bond issue to construct a new 123,000-square-foot high school and make renovations to the existing C.L. Jones Middle School and East Elementary School has failed.

Patrons voted down, in a mail-in ballot, the issue with 833 or 46.3 percent voting in favor of the issue and 965 or 53.7 percent voting against it. Those 1,798 votes represents a 60 percent district-wide voter turnout.

Patrons began receiving ballots during the third week of August and had until 5 p.m., Tuesday to return the ballots to Election Commissioner Myra Johnson. Because it was a mail election individual precinct results were not available.

"Part of the bond election process was we wanted to educate and inform our voters and we wanted to encourage them to vote," Superintendent Melissa Wheelock said Tuesday evening after results were announced. "So, we'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to vote. The next step of our board will be to regroup, look at the results and then determine what our next steps will be for the future facility needs of our district."

Minden Public Schools played host to a series public meetings to discuss new building options and welcomed questions on the district web page about the bond issue.

Looking at other ways to reach patrons will be one of the steps taken to encourage feedback from the community about how best to move forward.

"We know the building and our infrastructure is aged, so now we need to determine the best way to address that," Wheelock said.

The current Minden High School was constructed in 1936.

Had the bond passed it would have added a property tax levy of 20.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

At a budget hearing during the regular Minden Public Schools Board of Education meeting Monday the 2013-2014 tax levy amount, if the election didn't pass, was tentatively set at 99 cents. That figure will be officially approved during the October board meeting.

Minden Public School's 2012-2013 tax levy was $1.0497.

To read more, see Wednesday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>>

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