West Bend School Board Settles on Referendum Amount

To be clear, this isn’t the final decision to go to referendum. This is just to set the amount that they would ask for IF they go to referendum. But I think we all know that they are going to referendum…

Kirkegaard recommended three amounts for the referendum: $50 million — the full amount discussed in the past, which doesn’t take into consideration the remaining amount in the funds, $48 million — with a specification that the sum total will not exceed $50 million, or $47 million.

The ballot question has to be in its final form by Jan. 22, so the board needed to agree on an amount. One member said enrollment projections are not there to support requesting $50 million so the board should ask for as little money as possible. Another member asked if it was possible to simplify the design in order to lower the cost and if any remaining funds would be restricted.

Fund 46 is restricted because the money cannot be spent until at least five years after it was deposited. If the entire fund is spent, that time restarts and the board will be more restricted in the future, so they did not want to spend the remaining amount. However, they countered this with the desire to spend as little as possible and ensure the community knew they were not being frivolous with tax dollars.

They settled on $47 million to send the message that they are only asking for what they need. This number will be included in the articles that bond counsel will prepare for the next meeting.

Yes… asking for $47 million instead of $50 million really shows fiscal responsibility /sarcasm. Interest on debt like that will run the total obligation to taxpayers up to about $80 million based on current rates. Follow the link to see the video if you want to see the discussion.