By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Referendum decision will come next week


January 17, 2019

Lynn Dyer of ICS met with the Moose Lake School Board on Jan. 9 to prioritize the projects that have been listed from listening sessions with the board, the staff, the students and the community.

The discussion resulted in three categories of needs and wants. It was said that a referendum election should be held in May this year, and that there should be more than one question on the ballot.

The first question would ask about the basic needs for finishing the athletic complex. Those would include the concession/restroom/locker room/storage building, softball field, irrigation, fences with caps, batting cage, the Early Childhood playground, including fencing, and two parking lots.

The price tag was estimated up to $3.7 million. That would increase the property tax on a $100,000 property by less than $8 a year, it was said.

“That’s what the community wants,” said Board Chair Steve Blondo. “That finishes what we started.”

The second question would ask about the practice fields behind the school, improvements to the cross-country trail, an irrigation system, goal posts on the practice football field, stadium lighting, and improvements for a second level in the auditorium above the booth.

Those items could be listed under the second question on the ballot. The price tag was estimated at $2 million.

“This option would take $300,000 out of question one,” said Superintendent Robert Indihar. “These facilities would be more for the community. They would get this for 60 percent off. This would be looking to the future.”

Question three would consist of a Wish List, said Dyer. Widening the hallways at the school was the main topic of discussion for that category.

The lockers would be taken out of the hallways and moved to classrooms. The price tag for that project would be $2 million.

Dyer said that there are other things that the administration may be able to do, such as staggering class periods so that all of the students wouldn’t be accessing their lockers in the hallway at the same time. “The hallways weren’t wide enough, and we are sorry about that,” said Board Member Jamie Jungers.

He also mentioned that the fire and police departments want to see a road around the perimeter of the school for safety reasons.

The board will vote about going ahead with the referendum at the next meeting on Jan. 22. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m.

If the vote is yes, the plans will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Education for Review and Comment. Meanwhile, ICS staff and school board members will be meeting with the different groups and the public to explain the three categories of the project and the questions that will be on the ballot.

Tax impact information will also be shared. People will be able to ask questions and make suggestions.


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