District 197 offers online referendum information session Oct. 10

School District 197 Superintendent Nancy Allen-Mastro invites area residents to join her for an online presentation regarding the Nov. 4 referendum for technology, security and a stadium noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10.

Log in at home or at work to learn more about each request and ask questions during the webinar. Those who register for the presentation online will receive more information and log-in details via email.

Register at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/207151070

More information is available on the district's website

The referendum at a glance 

The West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools board in August approved a referendum with three questions, where voters will vote "yes" or "no" to the trio of funding requests.
First: a request to renew and increase the technology levy, also called the capital project levy. According to the district:
  • the existing levy for $490,000 per year will expire this year
  • the ballot request will provide $1.2 million per year, an increase of  $710,000 annually
  • it would last for 10 years, for an overall cost of $12 million
  • it would maintain current equipment and technological infrastructure, such as Wi-Fi internet access 
  • it would also be used to expand the program of providing iPads to students, promoting "tech equity" between schools and district cities
  • its annual funding would be $500,000 less than the May request
Second, the district's asking to issue general obligation building bonds. It says:
  • the $3.275 million would improve security at entrances and enhance security throughout district schools by expanding lock-down capabilities
  • the amount would not include the $7.5 million that was listed on the May ballot to build an early-learning center; the district is instead exploring leasing space
Third, the district is asking for building bonds for a new stadium:
  • the $4.585 million would build a new stadium at the high school in Mendota Heights
  • the new stadium would replace Charles Matson Field in West St. Paul
Instead of having each issue stand on its own on the ballot, the school board decided to make the third question — the stadium funding — contingent on the passing of the first two questions. 
That means that even if the stadium receives overwhelming support at the ballot box, it won't succeed unless the majority of voters says "yes" to the technology and security questions. 
—Kaitlyn Roby
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