Minot voters OK scaled-back $39.5M school measure

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MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Voters have approved multimillion-dollar school projects in Minot, Berthold and Plaza but rejected a proposal in Kenmare, all areas experiencing a rise in enrollment fueled by booming oil development.

The largest project is in Minot - North Dakota’s fourth-largest city - where residents on Tuesday approved a $39.5 million bond issue, four months after narrowly rejecting a $125 million proposal. The measure passed with about 67 percent of the vote, when 60 percent was required.

The earlier measure would have included funding for a second high school while raising property taxes about $465 annually on a $200,000 home, according to the Minot Daily News.

The proposal approved on Tuesday will pay for construction of a new elementary school, additions at two other elementaries, and safety and security upgrades at all district schools. The owner of a home valued at $200,000 will see property taxes go up about $124 annually.

Superintendent Mark Vollmer said the project might not solve all of the district’s space needs, with enrollment projected to grow by 1,000 students in the next five years.

“We need to watch those numbers,” he said.

Residents of Kenmare on Tuesday rejected a $7.5 million bond issue to fund classroom additions and a new gymnasium. The proposal garnered 57 percent support but needed 60 percent to pass. It was the second school vote in five months - residents last November narrowly defeated a $14 million measure.

Voters in the Lewis and Clark School District on Tuesday approved a $15 million proposal to fund a new high school in Plaza and a renovation/addition to the high school in Berthold. The measure, which was supported by 69 percent of voters, also calls for closing a school in Makoti within two years.

Voters earlier this year approved a $9.9 million school bond issue in Tioga, an $18 million measure in the Nedrose district near Minot and a $27 million measure in Watford City. Voters in the South Prairie district near Minot approved a $12 million measure late last year, while residents of Bottineau rejected an $18.9 million proposal.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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