Southern Washington County voters approve all school district requests for additional funding, higher property taxes
A majority of voters said yes to all three ballot questions related to investing millions of dollars into South Washington County public schools.
South Washington School officials say that the bonds, once sold, will be paid over the next 20 years with a property tax impact of about $6 a month for the average home valued at $409,000 in the district.
The investments include:
- Question 1: Providing $160 million for security enhancements along with expansions and renovations, with a vote of 56.72% to 43.28%
- Question 2: Providing $40 million for bathroom renovations at five elementary schools and expansions for schools projected to exceed capacity, with a vote of 54.99% to 45.01%
- Question 3: Providing $5 million in annual funding for technology-related expenses, with a vote of 51.7% to 48.3%
These are according to results posted on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.
School officials say the security measures will include new secure entries at Park and Woodbury high schools as well as Cottage Grove, Lake and Woodbury middle schools. The money will also go toward planned additions to East Ridge High School and renovations to Park and Woodbury high schools. The measure will also fund a planned expansion of Oltman Middle School and renovations at Woodbury Middle School.
Funding will also provide additions to Bailey, Grey Cloud, Pine Hill and Red Rock elementary schools.
Additional bathrooms will be brought to Crestview, Hillside, Pine Hill, Pullman and Royal Oaks elementary schools.
Voters also approved a technology projects levy that increases the annual funding from $2.8 million to $5 million for the next 10 years. Those additional funds are set to go toward technology-related expenses, including cybersecurity, instructional software, business software and technology repair.
More information on the district’s five-year facility plan and the Technology Projects Levy can be found here.
Southern Washington County School Superintendent Julie Nielsen shared the following written statement:
“We know this was a big ask for voters in hard economic times. We are extremely grateful for our community’s support to address safety, security, growth and technology projects in our schools.”Southern Washington County School Superintendent Julie Nielsen
These measures come after another effort from the school board to close Newport Elementary by 2025 was rejected by voters over the summer.