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Updated: South Tama School Board authorizes $20.8 million bond issue

Seek approval to replace middle shcool, other improvementsBy John Speer Editor Petitions bearing at least 324 verifiable signatures of the South Tama School District patrons calling for the school board to hold a bond election f

January 9, 2020
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Petitions bearing at least 324 verifiable signatures of the South Tama School District patrons calling for the school board to hold a bond election for the issuance of $20.8 million in general obligation school bonds have been received. The board, meeting in special session Monday night, Jan. 6, learned from District Secretary Mary Boege the threshold requirement of a minimum of 234 signatures had been surpassed.

In turn, board members voted 4-0 by voice to approve a resolution ordering a special election which is to be held on Tuesday, March 3. Voting in favor were members Ron Houghton, Alan Kline, Penny Tyynismaa and Clint Werner. Member Mandy Lekin was absent.

If approved the bond issue will pay for a middle school addition to the high school in Tama and and possibly school building and facility improvements.

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Along with the bond issue, voters will be asked on March 3 if the school district can go beyond the levy limit of $2.70 per $1,000 assessed property valuation to $4.05 per $1,000 property valuation.

Both the bond issue and levy rate question require 60% voter approval.

A third question on the ballot seeks approval of a revised purpose statement which allows the school district to use one cent sales tax Secure an Advanced Vision for Education(SAVE) for construction. Voter approval of 50% is required for passage of this measure.

Fact Box

View the South Tama Community School District internet post: Bond Vote - March 3, 2020 -

"A Solution with ZERO Net Property Tax Increase"-

The addition to the high school would replace the 104-year-old middle school in Toledo and two additions to the building which were built in the 1950s.

"Throughout the process, the district and board have used an open and transparent process to fully examine the middle sschool's needs and review a range of possible options," STC Superintendent Jared Smith said in a news release issued Wednesday afternoon.

"We believe the questions that will be presented to voters March 3 represent the best possible solution to our needs, while laos eliminating the need to raise property tax rates. We look forward to more productive conversations about the future of the STC Middle School as we move forward."

The revenue purpose statement approved by the school board lists a wide range of possible uses for the funding.

Included is acquiring or installing technological improvements for broadband digital communications, school safety and security infrastructure; expand, remodel, furnish, reconstruct, repair or improve school buildings and grounds; demolition work; and equipment.

Also, to purchase and lease-purchase of buildings and equipment including transportation and recreation equipment, to establish public recreation places energy conservation, acquiring or procuring libraries, purchase of land for new student construction program; sharing or rental of facilities including a joint infrastructure project for the purposes of offering classes under a district-to-community college.

Listed is funding to provide property tax relief, payments of loans, principal and interest.

Smith told board members in December it is projected the bond issue would not result in a raise in property taxes.

Instead funds generated from local option sales tax - SAVE revenue - and on-hand school funds would pay for the bond issue school officials said in December.

In other business Monday the school board:

approved contracts for Mark Groteluschen, high school principal for 2020-21; and Samantha Boldt as district-wide substitute beginning in January.

accepted the retirement resignations at the end of the 2019-20 school year from Gaynelle Maschmann, high school special education teacher; Sandra Jantzen, food service director; and Sue Husak, high school cook.

approved the drop out prevention at-risk application for funding in the amount totaling $185,298.

held discussion of a new law requiring seat belts be worn by all students in school busses equipped with belts and the role of drivers in assuring they are worn.



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