By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The East Troy School Board approved the formation of two referendum questions at a special meeting Dec. 7 for the April 6, 2021, spring election. One question will address the district’s maintenance needs and the other question will address the district’s operational needs.

The district is looking at a project deficit of about $800,000 next year and more than $600,000 the following year. Because of declining enrollment this year, possibly because of COVID-19, next year’s budget shortfall was nearly double what the district usually sees at about $470,000 a year, District Business Manager Kathy Zwirgzdas told the board at a meeting last month.

The referendum questions for the April ballot being drawn up are:

1.) An escalating operational referendum for a five-year term for $8 million. The levy would be in the amounts of $800,000 the first year, $1.4 million the second, $1.6 million the third, $1.9 million the fourth and $2.3 million the fifth. The referendum would end after year five.

2.) A capitol referendum for $8 million borrowed on a 20-year bond. This option allows the district to take advantage of favorable interest rates for the long-term projects.

The district will also utilize those favorable rates to refinance existing debt to save money.

Because the School Board decided to split the district’s operational and maintenance needs into their own referendums, the project cost to taxpayers will be less than they were for the failed referendum this past spring.

“On average, the projected tax impact with the two questions is projected at $95 per $100,000 of home value annually. Last April the referendum was higher at $98 (per $100,000 of home value),” School District Administrator Chris Hibner said Monday night.

For the full story, see this week’s edition of the East Troy Times/News.


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