West Fargo hopes trimming referendum will gain voter supportWest Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - West Fargo leaders are trimming a building referendum to gain more voter support. The 65 million dollar proposal was voted down in June, but leaders hope a less costly list of projects may pass during a possible October vote, WDAY 6 Reporter Kelsey Soby has more from Horace.
By: Kelsey Soby, WDAY
West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - West Fargo leaders are trimming a building referendum to gain more voter support. The 65 million dollar proposal was voted down in June, but leaders hope a less costly list of projects may pass during a possible October vote, WDAY 6 Reporter Kelsey Soby has more from Horace.
School Board President Tom Gentzkow says one of the pieces that will most likely be dropped from the plan is the expansion of Horace Elementary School; that along with the expansion of the Sheyenne 9th Grade Center. Those cuts would save about 12 million dollars.
“We think that's significant. Is that enough? We don't know if it's enough.”
School Board Vice President Karen Nitzkorski says they plan to ask voters that question during upcoming public input meetings.
“We need to think about how to do this the most affective that we are going to get a yes vote, because the urgent need is there we need to get more space for our kids.”
The former Horace PTO President says communication is key, and a lack of it was the reason the referendum failed in the first place. She says this time around pros and cons need to be explained more thoroughly to the public, and input meetings need to be better advertised. She says cutting costs could also change some minds.
“I think that would help, but i think the board needs to pro-active and yes making some of the cuts but keeping it so we don't have to come back in a few years asking for more money from the voters.”
School Board members say other possibilities include forgoing new athletic fields or decreasing the square footage of projects. They've also discussed renting space from other districts and building cheaper buildings.
“What’s the difference between building cheaper building and portable classrooms? I just don't agree with that. I prefer they build them to the quality of standards that they have in the past.”
Larisa says Horace Elementary can get by for a year or two, but worries delaying the project could push the school into a desperate situation a few years down the road.
No decisions have been made. The school board is only discussing these issues. If there is no October vote, the board has to wait another year.