Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

ELECTION RESULTS: Moose Lake School's 2-tiered referendum fails

Poll volunteers count more than 900 ballots by hand Tuesday night at the Moose Lake Community Center. Almost 6 percent of ballots were absentee votes. Andee Erickson / Pine Journal

The community of Moose Lake voted not to support the referendum to complete the campus of the Moose Lake Community School in the special election Tuesday.

The referendum was a two-tiered question. The first question failed by a vote of 648-403, which means question two automatically fails. A total of 1,054 ballots were cast, but three ballots could not be counted because the voter didn't answer both questions.

The first plan would have improved existing outdoor facilities at a cost of $3.94 million to taxpayers. The second plan would have made additional activity improvements for $2.7 million.

Taxpayers would have paid just half the cost to actually complete the projects since the district still qualifies for the financial aid bond it received after the 2012 flood. That bond covered about 70 percent of costs to build the new school and depreciates in value during its 20-year lifespan.

"I wouldn't say I'm surprised," Superintendent Robert Indihar said after the votes came in.

Especially considering it was the school district's first try at the referendum, School Board Chair Steven Blondo said. Before the new school was built, talks were ongoing for decades before anything happened.

"We'll look at what we have for options, just without the state aid," Blondo said of plans to follow through with some of the projects going forward.

Topping the priority list include the parking lot for activities and the early childhood playground, Indihar said.

The first plan would have included projects to address safety concerns, such as adding another parking lot for activities and events so motorists don't have to park on County Road 10, cross-country trails in the school forest so athletes don't have to run on the road, and security cameras in the early childhood wing.

The first plan also proposed grandstand seating and a press box for the track and field complex so the team can host home meets. A building next to the track and practice football field would have held a locker room to fit all the football players, public restrooms, concession stands and storage space.

The "complete our campus" referendum failed five years after voters approved the last referendum to build the new prekindergarten through 12th-grade school.

Andee Erickson

Andee Erickson has been a reporter with the Pine Journal since November 2018. She studied journalism and geography at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, while working at the Leader-Telegram newspaper on weekends. She graduated in 2018. Erickson's from southern Minnesota, but started viewing the north as home after interning for the Duluth News Tribune in the summer of 2017. 

randomness