Referendum questions on Tuesday’s ballot - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Spring election preview


Western Wisconsin (WQOW)- Voters in several school districts will also have their voices heard Tuesday.

The weather may not show it, but spring is here and with it the spring election.  On Tuesday, voters in six school districts will decide whether to spend more money on various projects.

There are two referendum questions on the ballot in Menomonie.

The first question addresses $25 million needed for maintenance.  That would also include keeping Downsville Elementary School open, as well as improving security at both River Heights and Menomonie High School.

The second question asks voters for $11 million to make renovations to the high school, specifically targeting the gym.

"The buildings would feel better.  They would be healthier.  They would be more secure," points out Menomonie Superintendent Chris Stratton.  "As a result, our students would benefit.  And I think if both questions pass, it really does set this district up to have excellent facilities going into the next 30 to 50 years."

Menomonie says if just question one is approve, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay an extra $33 a year.  If both pass, that would go up to $48 a year.

The Owen-Withee School District is asking voters to approve work for five new science classrooms and labs, a new cafe and auditorium, building a new fitness center and remodeling the gym.  That comes with a price tag of $8 million.  The owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $100 more the first year and $188 a year for the following 19 years.

Lake Holcombe is asking to exceed the revenue limit by $675,000 a year for the next three years to pay for operational costs to keep the district running.  That includes paying staff salaries and transportation costs.  Prairie Farm is also asking for money for operational costs, hoping to exceed the revenue limit by $500,000 over the next two years.

The Arcadia School District is asking for more than $23 million to build an addition that would replace the existing elementary and middle school buildings.

And Eleva-Strum wants to exceed revenue limits by $600,000 over the next two years so the school can continue the programs currently in place.

"Without the $600,000, we'd be looking at some severe cuts," explains Eleva-Strum Superintendent Craig Semingson.  "One of the cuts would be closing the Eleva Elementary School and moving those students out here to Central and trying to find space for them out here."

The owner of a $100,000 home would be looking at paying about $125 a year more.

Going back to February of last year, 44 school referenda have been voted on in Wisconsin.  31 have been approved and 13 have failed, according to the Department of Public Instruction. 

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