Education

Voters say no to Alburnett Schools $11.6M bond

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Voters in the Alburnett Community School District on Tuesday defeated an $11.64 million general obligation bond, declining to increase the district’s property tax rate to pay for school projects.

The bond failed with almost 55 percent approval, according to unofficial results from the Linn County Auditor’s Office, with 664 residents voting. It needed 60 percent to pass.

The bond would have paid for updates to elementary and secondary schools, agricultural and industrial tech spaces, a new auditorium and 10 new classrooms among other projects.

If approved, property taxes in the north Linn County district would have gone up by $1.89 per $1,000 of a home’s taxable valuation. According to the school district, a home with an assessed value of $100,000 would have paid about $117 more in taxes annually.

In a statement earlier this month, Superintendent Dani Trimble said the plan would have addressed “space and programming needs for students at every age level and across multiple programs.”

“Throughout the study process, the priorities have remained consistent across all stakeholder groups, which leads us to believe the plans are well aligned to the current and future needs of our district,” she said in a June 17 release.

Trimble did not immediately respond to an interview request Tuesday.

The matter cannot legally go before voters again for at least six months, per Iowa Code.

Polls were open Tuesday from 7 a.m. and closed at 8 p.m. Polling locations were King of Kings Lutheran Church, 3275 N. Center Point Rd. in Cedar Rapids, and Alburnett Methodist Church, 221 S. Main Ave. in Alburnett.

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The bond, school officials wrote in a fact sheet, would have “improve(d) the safety, security, function, and overall aesthetic of our school facilities. Most importantly, though, we will be adding and improving spaces to support education and create opportunities for our students.”

A second measure on the ballot, which worked in tandem with and would have needed to pass for the school bond to be issued, also failed with 51.8 percent approval.

• Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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