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North Linn schools’ $11.5M bond question heads to vote
The bond, which would be a zero dollar tax rate increase, would make it possible for air conditioning to be added to middle and high school, among other needed upgrades
COGGON — During the first week of school, students at the North Linn Community School District’s middle and high school were released from classes early as temperatures climbed into the 90s.
The facility holding both the middle and high schools, built in the late 1960s, has no air conditioning and could use upgrades in a lot of other areas. Ceiling tiles, which have accumulated a lot of humidity over the years, need to be replaced. There’s asbestos in the ceiling. The restrooms need to be updated to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Quite honestly, if my office wasn’t air-conditioned we might be out of school at 11 a.m. instead of 1:15 p.m.” because of the heat, said Scott Beaty, the principal of the middle and high schools.
To prepare for the future, the North Linn district has called for a special election Tuesday, Sept. 14, to vote on a $11.5 million general obligation bond referendum. The bond issue would not cause an increase in the current school tax rate because the district is paying off the last of its existing bonds this year. Those previous financial instruments were a $2.68 million general obligation bond and a $6.4 million sales tax bond issued to build a new elementary facility.
The district has held one open house so the public could see what needs to be updated. The second open house is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at the school, 3033 Lynx Drive in Coggon.
The district serves about 580 students in the counties of Linn, Benton, Buchanan and Delaware.
If the vote passes by 60 percent or more, construction would take place in summer 2022. The project would replace the schools’s water piping and windows in several areas of the high school. The original windows are small and provide little natural light.
Kerry Peyton, North-Linn schools business manager and parent, agrees it’s time for an upgrade to the middle and high school.
“I think we all strive to provide the best educational environment for our kids,” Peyton said. “Our community is very supportive. We’re not a very big community, so the school is a central hub, and creating a better classroom environment will mean a lot to the kids.”
Revenue Purpose Statement
The second question on the ballot will ask voters to adopt a revenue purpose statement. This would specify that the use of revenues the North Linn district receives from state Secure an Advanced Vision for Education fund are in accordance with Iowa law. That fund, intended to finance school infrastructure projects or provide school district tax relief, comes out of the state sales tax. State law requires this statement go to voters periodically.
If approved, this revenue purpose statement would remain in effect until replaced or amended in the future.
Where can I vote?
Voters in the district can cast ballots from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday. Locations are:
- Benton and Linn County residents can vote at North Linn High School, 3033 Lynx Dr., Troy Mills.
- Buchanan County residents can vote at Rowley Community Center, 109 Ely St., Rowley.
- Delaware County residents can vote at Ryan City Hall, 405 Franklin Street, Ryan.
For more information, visit northlinncsd.org/ref21.
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