Updated: 08/27/2014 3:10 PM
Created: 08/26/2014 5:03 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
It's almost time for kids to head back to school, but in Moose Lake school officials hope their students will be in a new school by 2016.
For the fifth time, the school district is asking local, property taxpayers to vote yes on a bond referendum this November. The tax hike has been hard to sell in the past, but this year it's a very different story.
"The thing that's different about this one is the legislation," Superintendent Bob Indihar said. "We really did have an unfair tax impact without it."
Special legislation will foot 60 percent of the bill for a new school if voters pass the referendum. The state's portion will equate to $20.3 million for the $34.7 million project. That leaves about $14.4 million for local taxpayers which is the same cost of needed renovations at the current building.
"If I'm going to spend almost $15 million fixing up a school, I would rather spend $15 million on a brand new facility," Teacher Michelle Olson said. "That's what this new referendum will give us and in the past we haven't had it. It's a gift from the state we can't pass up."
Indihar said parts of the current building are 80 years old and the infrastructure needs big help. In 2012, the school was also overwhelmed by flood water which didn't help the situation.
If the referendum passes, the school already owns 180 acres off Highway 10 where they can build a new school. That will also get the new building away from flooding dangers.
"I think kids feel taken care of if they know their surroundings are well taken care of," Olson said. "We've done the best we can with this old building, but it's time to let it go and start fresh."
If the referendum passes, a local taxpayer with a $150,000 home would pay $337 a year. Before the special legislation, it would have been $710 a year.
The election is November 4.
Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener
The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.
Northlanders Give Back in Preparation for Holiday Season
Northlanders gave back on Saturday in preparation for the holiday season. It was Family Volunteer Day at the Duluth Library, and folks participated in several friendly projects.
"By Us, For Us" Meeting to Discuss Vision for Equity in Duluth
Duluth's Native and African heritage communities came together on Saturday to share experiences and ideas at the 1st United Methodist Church. The meeting called "By Us, For Us" invited people of color, African Americans and Native Americans to come together to break bread and learn about each other culturally.
MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000
Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.
Wisconsin Gun Deer Hunt Begins
The season opened as the sun rose Saturday and will run through Nov. 30. Forecasts for opening weekend called for freezing rain and fog with highs ranging from the upper 30s to the low 40s both days.