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Forum on Prescott referendum set for this Thursday

By Roger Hulne

Prescott School Superintendent

PRESCOTT--At the regular meeting on Jan. 15, the Prescott School Board approved resolutions for a Tuesday, April 1, referendum.

The referendum will contain three questions. The first question is in regard to financing a bond for a new high school. The second question is in regard to financing an auditorium for the new high school building. The third question is in regard to a tax levy override for operating costs for four years starting with the 2015-2016 school year.

This action is the result of years of diligent and thorough research. Many community members have generously contributed hours of time to look at options, crunch numbers and develop a plan that would best balance the student needs with anticipated community financial support.

The proposed solution was based on community input obtained through two representative surveys, listening sessions, civic group presentations and intentional one-on-one conversations. The final recommendation was developed with tax sensitivity as an important consideration.

The first referendum question would authorize financing to construct and equip an energy efficient, 136,300 square foot high school on the 90 acres owned by the district east of Dexter Street. The estimated cost of that effort is $27,980,000. The impact of that bond would increase taxes on each $100,000 of home value by $171 annually, or $14.25 per month.

In many interactions with the community, there was significant interest for including an auditorium. To honor the tax tolerance of the community as well as the strong interest in an auditorium, a second referendum question was included which would authorize financing of $4,260,000 to construct and equip an auditorium onto the new high school. The impact of that option would increase taxes on each $100,000 of home value by an additional $35 annually, or $2.92 per month.

A third question was included to address operating costs of the new building. That question would authorize the district to exceed the revenue limit by $110,000 for four years beginning with the 2016-2016 school year. The impact of that levy would increase taxes on each $100,000 of home value by $16.00 annually, or $1.33 per month.

The proposed solution will provide the space requirements to meet the educational needs of Prescott students well into the future. It will also provide opportunities for senior and community activities. The tax impact of the proposed solution will be implemented to result in an even levy over a 20-year bond period. Estimates and experience show this solution will provide the space needed for that amount of time and beyond.

The public is encouraged to refer to the school district website,, for specific information about the proposal and the planning involved.

A community forum will be held at the high school this Thursday at 7 p.m. This is an opportunity to meet the experts and ask your questions about finance, design and planning efforts. The financial advisor, construction manager, architect and members of the school board will be available. Please plan to attend and become informed about how this solution will impact the school and community.