Greene County school district special election Tuesday

~courtesy of The Scranton Journal

Voters in the Greene County Community School District will go to the polls on Tuesday, April 3, for a special election. The voters will cast a ballot to allow the board of directors to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $21.48 million. The money, along with other funds provided from other entities, would be used to construct, furnish and equip a new 9-12 high school which includes a competition gym and performing arts center; to construct, furnish and equip a Regional Center (Career Academy); to remodel, repair, improve, furnish and equip the current high school into a 5-8 grade school building with administrative offices and to improve the sites at all locations.

The polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm. Regular polling sites are: Scranton, Scranton Community Center; Jefferson, Clover Hall at the Greene County Fairgrounds; and Grand Junction, St Brigid Parish Center.

Absentee ballots  may be voted in person at the auditor’s office in the Greene County courthouse.

Voters are required to provide an approved form of identification at the polling place before they may cast a ballot. Persons who have questions about their voter registration, should contact the Greene County auditor’s office at 515-386-5680.

Voters are asked to approve bonds for $21.48 million but the total cost of the building project is $35.48 million. The plans include borrowing $4.5 million against future revenue from the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) and the SAVE (school infrastructure 1-cent sales tax)  previously approved by voters. Borrowing against the PPEL and SAVE revenue will not affect the tax levy.

In addition, Grow Greene County has pledged $4.5 million to pay for the gymnasium and part of the auditorium. An additional $5 million will come from tax increment financing (TIF) provided by the Greene County board of supervisors from the tax revenue of the 41 wind turbines constructed in 2017 in the county.

The bond issue will increase property taxes in the school district by $2.70 (per thousand dollars of taxable valuation) for 20 years. Proponents of the issue say that would be an annual increase of $137.08 on a $100,000 house. Farmland assessed at $1,890 per acre would see an increase of $2.78 per acre per year.

The proposed site of the high school is on land immediately west of AAI on Highway 30. It will include a competition gymnasium and performing arts center.

In addition, money will be utilized to update and remodel the current high school to be used as a middle school for grades five through eight along with the administrative offices.

The third component of the bond issue is the construction of a Career Academy, adjacent to the high school, which will be outfitted and staffed by Iowa Central Community College. This facility would be used for Greene County and students from surrounding school districts for vocational training in precision agriculture, computer software, advanced manufacturing and hospitality / culinary arts. It will also be used for continuing education and adult training. ICCC is backing the concept and has signed a letter of intent for 10 years.

The committee promoting the bond issue has worked tirelessly to explain the plans. For more information, go to their website: www.ourkidsourfuturegreenecounty.org.

To be approved, 60 percent of the voters must cast a “Yes” vote.

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