Nedrose School Bond Vote - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Nedrose School Bond Vote

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The latest in a string of school bond proposals is up for a vote Thursday just to the east of Minot in the Nedrose School District.

Voters there will be deciding if they want to follow in the footsteps of South Prairie -- the district south of Minot.

Voters there voted in favor of adding onto the current school, taking the district from what is known as a 'graded elementary' -- offering only K through 8 -- to a full K through 12 district.

At Nedrose that would mean the construction of a second school in the district.

As Perry Olson shows us, officials at Nedrose say doing what South Prairie voters did would guarantee the school remaining independent, and provide much needed space for a growing student population.

(Charles Miller - Nedrose Superintendent) "South Prairie led the way and we are hopeful that our patrons look at things just like the South Prairie folks did and see the advantages both for our kids and our taxpayers."

That's how Superintendent Charles Miller sees the decision facing voters in the Nedrose district -- as a plus for everyone involved. The 18 million dollar bond would build a second school in the district -- freeing up much needed space at this current school for pre-K through 4th grade...and sending everyone else to the new facility.

(Charles Miller - Nedrose Superintendent) "Our 5th through 8th graders would be in one portion of the building and our 9th through 12 would be in one portion. It would be one building obviously using some common facilities, lunch rooms, gym, things like that."

If passed, the fight that seemingly comes up every two years in the legislature to eliminate 'graded elementaries' like Nedrose is today, would be a thing of the past. If ever eliminated, districts like this would be forced into nearby districts...like Minot Public. Now, when students finish 8th grade here...they move on to either Surrey, or Minot Public and state funding follows, along with a tuition payment from Nedrose.

(Charles Miller - Nedrose Superintendent) "It is much more affordable for us to take care of our own needs and services then rent it or take it from somebody else. If we have to get services from Surrey or Minot, it is going to cost us more than if we provide it yourself."

Currently, about 140 Nedrose high schoolers attend class in Surrey or Minot -- costing Nedrose about 1.5 million dollars each year. Keeping those kids means more money staying within the district -- and controlling the future of the district as well. The legislature could never force them out of business...

(Charles Miller - Nedrose Superintendent) "This would eliminate that problem for us if we went to K through 12."

Nedrose district is booming with business -- and homes -- that means a bigger tax base all the time...and Miller believes that growth would make the tax increase that would be seen to build a new school short lived...and a wise move.

(Charles Miller - Nedrose Superintendent) "The good part as we grow rapidly is it creates a tax base. The more tax base you have it broadens it out, everybody's tax goes down because you have a larger tax base. And as long as we are our own district, we keep that money locally, it is going to benefit our local taxpayers down the road within a couple of years."

The land is already owned by the district for a new high school...now all that is needed is the go-ahead from voters. At Nedrose, Perry Olson, KX News.

If the 18 million dollar bond is approved, Miller says property owners can expect an yearly increase on their tax bill by about 50 dollars per 100-thousand in value.

The vote is set for this Thursday at Nedrose.

Polls open at eleven and will stay open until eight.

60 percent approval is needed for passage.

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