I hope taxpayers in Mapleton don’t receive a “leafy spurge” from state media for this on Monday.
MAPLETON, N.D. — It will be a few weeks before Mapleton School District officials decide their next course of action in the wake of Wednesday’s defeat of a $7.2 million school bond referendum.
Both questions on the ballot failed, Business Manager Kenneth Steiner said Thursday.
On the first question, to approve issuing $7.2 million in bonds for a school, of the 317 votes cast, 160 votes or 50.5 percent, were for the issue and 157 votes or 49.5 percent against. It needed 60 percent voter approval to pass.
The second question asked voters to approve raising the district’s debt limit from 5 percent of taxable valuation up to 10 percent of taxable valuation. There were 149 votes, or 47 percent, for the measure and 166 votes, or 52.4 percent, against the measure. Two ballots were left blank.
Steiner said even if the first question had passed, the second question needed to pass, too, or the district would have been unable to sell all of the bonds needed to build a new school.
If the questions had both been approved, bonds would have been issued to finance construction of a new pre-kindergarten through grade eight school. That school would have replaced the 91-year-old building that now houses about 83 pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students.
Steiner said some voters felt they needed more information on the issues. He also heard complaints that the ballot language of the two questions was confusing, leaving some people uncomfortable voting yes.
Principal Tim Jacobson found some encouragement in the results.
“We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t get it. But we’re excited that more than 50 percent voted for it,” he said. “If we spend some time with the people and give them all of our options again, maybe we’ll have a different vote.”
Jacobson said the results will be discussed with the school board “so we won’t know anything for about three or four weeks.”
The district has about 200 students from kindergarten through grade 12, Jacobson said.