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Helmut Schmidt, Published September 30 2011

Central Cass measure fails again

CASSELTON, N.D. – Central Cass School District voters voted against a $4.8 million building addition Thursday.

Superintendent Mark Weston said the measure failed to pass, with 596 votes, or 53 percent, voting “no.” Forty-seven percent, or 537 votes, were cast in favor of the addition.

“We needed 60 percent, so it wasn’t really that close of an election,” Weston said.

Officials saw steady voter turnout throughout the day Thursday.

A vote was taken on a similar proposal in late April, failing to reach a needed 60 percent supermajority by a scant 27 votes.

The proposal called for adding 31,000 square feet of space to the school, including a gymnasium; a multipurpose space that can be used for theater, musical performances and as a gym; storage and musical performance space; and with renovations to another area of the school, six classrooms.

This time, the school board changed the funding from a 20-mill building bond that could continue indefinitely to a vote for bonds to be paid over 20 years and then retired.

Homeowners would have seen a $90 increase on a $100,000 home per year in property taxes.

Weston said the district is not likely to return soon with another proposal after Thursday’s election.

“We’ll just keep functioning as we have,” he said.

He said school leaders will continue to monitor enrollment and assess the district’s needs from there.

Forum reporter Wendy Reuer contributed to this report.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583