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February 20, 2018 -
Press Release


On February 20, the School Board of Milaca approved a referendum to voters on May 8, 2018.

At the school board meeting the Board had an opportunity to review the last 18 months of a timeline, which is a subset of the plan established more than 2 years ago. The process to date included the development of the district’s mission, vision and belief statements; the construction of the new Academic Learning Center (ALC) to expand educational opportunities, and the community process which has led to the May 8 referendum.

The mission of the Milaca School District is: “To educate, empower, and engage all students to become caring and responsible citizens who will succeed in an ever-changing world.” Milaca School District Superintendent Tim Truebenbach stated, “School facilities play a critical role [in this regard] and are needed to compete with our neighboring school districts as we continue to lose students to open enrollment and revenues that would support our mission. This is more than a $3 million loss to the district.”

The question before voters is grounded in enhancing public access and providing opportunities to students. Specifically, our students would benefit from educational options not necessarily bound to a four-year university diploma. Vocational opportunities not only provide good paying jobs, but also enhance the local economy for our community to thrive. By addressing these issues we position ourselves to reverse earlier losses in revenue and improve the benefits to taxpayers.

Some taxpayers questioned how the district would pay for the project. A municipal property, like a school, can be funded through a variety of bonds with varying terms to take advantage of low interest rates while minimizing the interest impact to the taxpayer over time. Residentially, our taxpayers are looking at only an $8.67 per month impact on a home valued at $100,000 or a $14.57 per month on a home valued at $140,000 (Mille Lacs County average home value). This is quite a bit different than a typical residential home mortgage.

If voters pass the referendum there will be significant enhancements to our vocational education and trades classrooms, as well as new performing arts spaces for our children and community theatre groups. Additionally, significant amount of deferred maintenance will be addressed and a fieldhouse with fitness and athletic facilities, as well as public gathering spaces, will be constructed for all members of the community, from our youth to our senior citizens.

Please vote on May 8th.

 

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