Wrenshall Holds Community Meeting on Proposed Referendum

Brandon Weathers
Updated: March 21, 2019 10:39 PM

Wrenshall School District held the first of two informational meetings Thursday night as they seek voter approval for a $14.4 million referendum.

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This is the third referendum the school district has proposed in the last two years. The previous plan failed in November, and the board has made a couple of changes since then that they're hoping the community can get behind.

The school district says the referendum would fund the remodeling, upgrading, and repuprosing of the recreation building, an addition to the gym, the repurposing of the pool area to provide more classrooms, various indoor air quality improvements, deferred maintenance projects, and school safety and security improvements.

The main change from the previous referendum is that instead of restoring the pool, this latest plan will convert the space to add more calssrooms. Wrenshall resident Caroline Johnson thinks this will make all the difference.

She said, "I think the pool was a downfall. I think the last referendum only failed by 52 votes, and I think the pool was a hiccup on that, and making it into more classrooms and more space for learning is important to people."

For the first time, student board representatives have been added. These students got to tour other Minnesota schools, like Alexandria and Perham, that have the features and programs Wrenshall is asking for.

Madgalene Sowada is one of these student representatives. "They're very nice schools," she said, "they had very nice facilities too, especially the gyms, classroom sizes, spacing, natural lighting ... I definitely wish we could have that here."

A tax impact statement prepared by Ehlers, the school district's municipal advisors, estimates an increase of $288 a year for a homestead valued at $150,000, which the school board says is the average home value in Wrenshall.

A second meeting will allow community members to ask questions about the referendum on Wednesday, April 17th. The special election will be on Tuesday, May 14th. Wrenshall School District offers more information here.

Floodwood School District will be holding a special election on a proposed referendum on April 9th. This referendum would increase general education revenue by $3,350 per student, subject to an annual increase at the rate of inflation.The school district estimates an increase of $291 a year for a homestead valued at $100,000, or $437 for a homestead valued at $150.

Floodwood School District provides more information here.


Brandon Weathers

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