Referendum passes

CHARLENE LENERTZ casts her vote Tuesday morning. Photo / Per Peterson

The voters of the Tracy School District have spoken, and the facilities project at Tracy Area High School, Tracy Area Elementary School and Kid’s World will move forward.

With all but one precinct reporting as of 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, Tracy Area Public School District residents voted 549-276 in favor of a referendum that opens the door for the district to move ahead with the two-year project. In Tracy, the vote was overwhelming: 199 for and 50 against; in Balaton, the vote was 50-22 in favor.

“I want to thank all the community members for coming out to vote, reading all the materials, watching all the videos and asking very intelligent questions,” Tracy Area Public Schools Supt. Chad Anderson said. “The community was very involved. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this — all the research in our facilities, all the meetings, discussing the pros and cons, working with two different companies. We knew we needed to do something to make sure that we protect our assets and continue to have a healthy, happy environment for kids to learn for decades to come, and we solidified that tonight.”

The referendum authorizes $7.565 million in bonding authority to finance facility upgrades at the elementary and high school, with the largest project component being the HVAC upgrades proposed at the high school.

The intensive project includes heating and ventilation upgrades, roof replacement, construction and installation of fire suppression systems and the completion of deferred maintenance projects. To provide funds for the project costs, the school board has proposed to issue federal obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $7,565,000. The school board has also proposed to revoke its existing capital project levy authorization of 0.9180% times the net tax capacity of the school district, commencing with taxes payable 2023.

The official ballot question was: Shall the issuance of the general obligation school building bonds and the revocation of the capital project levy authorization proposed by the school board of Independent School District No. 2904 be approved?

See more in this week’s paper!