The Perfect Enemy | $11.65 million bond issue on ballot for Hudson Schools
October 5, 2022

$11.65 million bond issue on ballot for Hudson Schools

$11.65 million bond issue on ballot for Hudson Schools  WCF Courier

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HUDSON — Hudson Community School District property taxes would increase if voters approve a bond issue Tuesday to make facility improvements at the high school.

Superintendent Tony Voss said the time is past due to make an update in the building.

“The HVAC system is in need of repair,“ Voss said. “We’ve been limping this system along for many years and that component alone is about $2.2 million to replace.”

Tony Voss

Voss

The proposed $11.65 million general obligation bond issue will pass if at least 60% of voters cast ballots in favor of it. If approved, the district would begin multiple projects at the high school.

The tax impact of issuing the bonds would be $11.09 per month on a home with an assessed value of $100,000, or $133 per year. For agricultural property, the tax impact would be $29.91 per month on 100 acres of agricultural land, or $359 per year.

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The money would be used to update building systems and infrastructure – such as windows, plumbing, lighting, flooring, cabinetry and HVAC systems – as well as converting underused space into classrooms, creating a safer main entrance, rebuilding the career and technical education labs, and adding gym space.

hudson elex.png

This graphic shows proposed projects at Hudson High School.

A community-led facility task force identified the projects earlier this year. There were 646 respondents. A little more than half were parents of school-aged children, 89 were school employees, 41 were agricultural landowners, 17 were commercial property owners, 30 were business owners and 22 owned additional property.

Of the total 56% of them supported the general obligation bond. Parents were more supportive, at 71%. The main entrance and gym expansion were seen as lower priority on the list of projects.

If additional funding becomes available, other projects would include adding classrooms at the high school, updating and expanding the auditorium, building a wrestling/multi-purpose space, and adding turf to the football field.

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School district officials said some people are speculating that these improvements are needed due to open enrollment. A flier from Hudson Schools stated that, since 2016, the district has seen a steady increase in enrollment. The district is projected to grow more in the next five years due to new housing developments.

“The improvement projects would be necessary, even if we had no open-enrolled students,” Voss said in the flier. “In some ways, a school is like an airplane. It doesn’t matter if the plane is 100% full or half full – it still needs to be in a condition in which it can get from point A to point B.”

Two other issues will also be voted on Tuesday: A physical plant and equipment levy and a revenue purpose statement.

The PPEL is a voter-approved levy that generates funds a school district can use for infrastructure and equipment repairs, purchases and improvements. If this is renewed, the levy would maintain a maximum property tax rate impact of $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable property value.

The PPEL is not a new idea – rather a continuation of a current levy the district has had in place for decades.

The third topic is a revenue purpose statement. Approving the statement would continue the district’s investment of 1% sales tax funds in school infrastructure projects. The statewide tax is called Secure an Advanced Vision for Education. School districts are required to get voter approval of the statements, which lay out the purposes the proceeds will be used for.

From the survey issued to voters, 83% of respondents support the renewal of the sales tax revenue purpose statement and the PPEL. A simple majority of voters must favor those measures for them to pass.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Hudson Community Center at 525 Jefferson Street in Hudson. Hudson Community School District residents who live in Waterloo can go online to blackhawkcounty.iowa.gov/211/Current-Elections to find their polling location.

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