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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • To the Editor: MACCRAY voters urged to vote “No”

  • On October 14, 2013 the MACCRAY School Board passed a resolution on a 5 to 1 vote authorizing a special election on Jan. 7, 2014, to put to the voters of MACCRAY School District 2180, the proposal to pass a bonding issue for $20 million dollars, for the purpose of building a new elementary school in Clara City and then close ...
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  •     On October 14, 2013 the MACCRAY School Board passed a resolution on a 5 to 1 vote authorizing a special election on Jan. 7, 2014, to put to the voters of MACCRAY School District 2180, the proposal to pass a bonding issue for $20 million dollars, for the purpose of building a new elementary school in Clara City and then close the elementary schools in Maynard and Raymond.
        I am writing this letter in opposition to this resolution. In 1989 to 1994 there was an agreement to keep an elementary school in each city, Maynard and Raymond.  That compromise has worked well for 20 some years.
        Vote “No” because common sense and fiscal responsibility says to fix elementary schools and save money on interest and principal repayments.
        We are told that will save $300,000 per year  – 20 years times $300,000 equals $6,000,000 savings on travel expense, update heating in new building, etc.
        To pay $20 million in 20 years the payments can be $1,400,000 per year. Farmers and landowners will be taxed in full, their land, not just house, garage and one acre. Tax effects on agriculture farm land, non-homestead, valued at $7,000 per acre with 20 million bond issue  payable over 20 years.      A 160 acre farm would pay  $1,512 per year or $30,240 over 20 years. These figures are provided by Ehlers and Associates.
        Vote “no” on January 7. We have more cost-effective options to consider.
        A second opinion, funded by the cities of Maynard and Raymond, from the architect and engineering firm Lightowler, Johnson and Associates,  for repairing and bringing up to code the existing elementary school buildings in Maynard and Raymond is for $10,668,922 rather than the $18,363,157 project  that Energy Service Group has estimated.
        Performance in MACCRAY Elementary Schools is in the top 15 percent of Minnesota schools.
        Location and distance is not out of range. We have a number of years of history.
        We need to stay together as a community, family, neighborhood and as a school district, treat each other with respect and dignity, compromise and keep the three communities in the circle of education.
        We have very good financial willingness and support, when we respect each other.
    Kenneth F. Koenen
    Maynard                    
                 
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