Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1157802

Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 24, 2014

Mid-Prairie holds last meeting before vote

By Mary Zielinski | Mar 26, 2014

WELLMAN — In its last regular meeting before the April 1 vote on a $10.6 million bond issue, the Mid-Prairie Board Monday noted if the issue passes, total annual property tax increase on a $100,000 home would be $30.71.  Total resultant levy, if the measure is approved, would be $12.40 per $1,000 of taxable valuation, still leaving the district 13th lowest of 14 area districts.  Current M-P levy is $11.91 per $1,000.  By comparison, the Highland School District with a $16.52 levy is the third highest in area.
The plan,which includes major improvements to all five schools plus a new Alternative Learning Center and central administration office, is the first  bond issue since the $5.5 million in 1996.  That debt is set to be retired by the end of this year.
As noted Monday, the $1.6 plan dates to 2008 when the first of three separate district committees met to consider and make recommendations to the board.  Among those are the new central office, to replace two inadequate construction trailers, an addition at the middle school to house the Home School Assistance Program that serves 290 students and generates nearly $700,000 of funding for the district and space for a new Alternative Learning Center in the new administrative offices.  The office also will house the district’s technology hub. The new office/ALC space would save the district $29,098 in annual rental fees.
The initial recommendations to the board had 23 projects with an estimated cost of $23 million that was trimmed to a dozen and a $10.6 million cost.  Among the requested facilities as a new $7 million auditorium for the high school, a figure that would have meant a near $18 million issue.
However, the auditorium plan is not gone.  The Mid-Prairie Foundation is spearheading the continuing effort and Monday the board authorized an application for a $2.5 million grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation (WCRF) for the $7,250,000 project.  A similar application last fall was not funded.
In other business, the board:
•approved a special education/work experience teacher 28E agreement with the Williamsburg school district; and
•following a public hearing, approved the nearly $34 million 2015-15 budget.  The figure includes the possible $0.6 million.  There is a plan in place for revision if the measure does not pass.

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