ELY – ISD 696 officials continue to make their case to district voters who will be asked this summer to give their approval on a $10 million bonding referendum for a school facility renovation …
ELY – ISD 696 officials continue to make their case to district voters who will be asked this summer to give their approval on a $10 million bonding referendum for a school facility renovation project.
Election day will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 11, but early voting is underway as of Friday, June 26. School board members were updated on the referendum communication effort at a study session Monday night.
Taxpayers are being asked to approve an increase in their property taxes for the next 20 years to help pay for the $20-million project that will improve the school buildings by connecting the campus into one safer facility, adding more space for learning and improving the overall condition of the 100-year-old buildings.
Superintendent Erik Erie is conducting presentations to area community groups, a direct mailing brochure was recently distributed to all households, columns are being published in local newspapers, and social media is being used to get the word out about the project.
Erie has recently visited with the Ely Rotary Club, Morse Township officials and residents, Tuesday Group participants, and Ely Community Resource. He will address the Ely City Council on Tuesday, June 30.
In addition, the school district will conduct as many as three public forums this summer, in a virtual format, to provide more opportunities for voters to have their questions answered about the project and the cost. Those forums are planned for Monday, June 29, Tuesday, July 14 and Wednesday, Aug. 5. All forums will begin at 6 p.m. More information will be announced on how to access the virtual presentations.
With the approval of the $10 million referendum, the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation will award a $7 million grant for the project. State aid, including a $500,000 Safe and Secure Schools grant and a $500,000 ISD 696 general fund transfer, is also part of the project funding.
Property tax increases on a residential homestead property with an estimated market value of $100,000 would be about $50 per year for 20 years. Property tax increases on a commercial property with an estimated market value of $250,000 would be just over $300 per year for 20 years.
For more information on the referendum and school facility project, call Erie at 218-365-6166. Details are also available on the ISD 696 website, www.ely.k12.mn.us.