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Resident questions Wrenshall referendum process, motives

To the Editor:

Is the April 18 Wrenshall Schools building referendum a prelude to consolidation? In the March Wrenshall School District newsletter "Images," an excerpt states "Our board remains open to consolidation. It's worth noting that the plan we're proposing is very similar to the plan for Wrenshall to serve as the high school of a consolidated district."

Now we see what they really want ... because why have five parking lots, two gyms, community health center, roofs covered with solar panels, etc.? Why demolish a huge (paid for) building when it could be remodeled? Why not a smaller amount to update existing facilities?

We have 147 open enrolled students (whose parents pay property taxes elsewhere), so if we lose some of them and Carlton builds, what will happen to our $12.5 million investment?

It will cost us $300 to $500 and more. A $250,000 house will pay $504 plus $56 (for health center), totalling $560 for 20 years, and the last referendum isn't paid for until 2022.

It seems like the board put the cart before the horse. There wasn't an advertised community meeting until Feb. 6 when it was a done deal. In fact, they started the discussion in April 2016. Wouldn't it be common decency to, at that time, have a community-wide meeting and lay it all out for those of us who are going to pay?

Included is a "community health center." Huh? An extra $1 million capital layout (not voted on) to be leased to the Cloquet hospital. Who will use it? How secure is it? Can anyone use it? On top of the cost outlay, it will still cost those who use it $30 to $40 a month.

Upcoming meetings at the school are March 15, 20 and 21, and a community meeting March 28, all at 6 p.m.

Tony A. Sheda, Wrenshall