Voters Say No to 59 Million Dollar School Bond. So What's Next f - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Voters Say No to 59 Million Dollar School Bond. So What's Next for Detroit Lakes?

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Voters yesterday in several area school districts said yes to paying more for proposed improvements. But the outcome in Detroit Lakes, left that district, the odd man out. A 59 million dollar bond issue, aiming to address upgrades, was shot down by voters. Today Valley News teams Eric Crest traveled to Detroit Lakes to speak with the superintendent and find out what's next.


To get the city of Detroit Lakes on the school district's side proved to be a harder sell at the polls than administration initially thought.

"I think they know the needs are still there. They want to make sure we're doing this correctly and maybe 59 million isn't the number. But maybe it is," says Superintendent Doug Froke.

Voters turned the proposal down with a 58 percent majority. The price tag of school upgrades and a brand new construction project was 59 million dollars. That would translate to hundreds of dollars in extra property taxes every year for folks in Detroit Lakes.

"I think that will be one of the things that we'll hear is that maybe it was a little to much for them in terms of taxes," says Froke.

Four million dollars would have been used to redesign entrances to make them more secure at two schools and another million and a half would have reconstructed pick up and drop off zones for kids using the bus and walkers.

"They're all in one area. So when dismissal time comes it's not a very safe situation," says Froke.

But the majority of the cost would be for a new elementary school. The district is expected to out grow it's current space and they say they don't want overcrowded classrooms on the account of them, not being ready.

At the heart of the referendum proposal there was one big ticket item. A brand new school for students from kindergarten to third grade. It would cost 37 million dollars but as the community voted the proposal down, it leaves administration figuring out their next step.

"The needs for us don't change. They're gonna be here. The buildings are in need of attention and that's what we're trying to do," says Froke.

Superintendent Froke says they'll continue taking any and all feedback from the community as to what to do with the future problem of overcrowding schools. The next school board meeting will be on Tuesday November 12th.

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