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Ellsworth referendum questions on ballot Feb. 18

By Barry Cain

School Superintendent

At a special meeting of the Ellsworth School Board on Nov. 19, the board approved two referendum questions that will appear on the ballot on the primary election date of Feb. 18, 2014.

One of the referendum questions being proposed asks for the district’s ability to exceed the revenue limit for three years by $800,000, beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. The district’s current ability to exceed the revenue limit by $1.3 million for three years expires at the end of this school year.

During the past three years, due to numerous factors, the district has not fully utilized this authority. The school board approved budgets over the past three years that exceeded the revenue limit by $500,000 for each of the first two years and by $700,000 for the 2013-2014 school year.

The second question proposes the construction of one elementary school to house all of our four-year-old kindergarten through grade five students. This school is to be located directly east of the senior high school. This plan also includes steps to improve security at our high school and middle school buildings, changes to our outdoor field and community spaces, increased event parking, and the removal of our current bus garage to an off-site location to maximize the use of our campus for students and the community.

In the coming weeks, we will work hard to provide various forms of information regarding both questions that are coming to our voters. A number of public meetings to provide information to our public will be approved at the Dec. 9 school board meeting. I encourage all residents to visit our facilities study page that is located on our website at This page provides a great deal of information about the work of the Ad Hoc Facilities Committee over the past 18 months and the recommendations that this committee made to the school board.