Sartell-St. Stephen School District Second Work Session Further Discusses Planning Options

The Sartell-St. Stephen School Board met last night to further discuss options proposed by the Community Schools Planning Committee.  At this time, the District and Board are looking at the options a $100 million bond would allow for, which would include the addition of a new high school and upgrades to current facilities.  The owner of a $200,000 home would see a monthly property tax increase of about $33.00 a month or $390.00 per year for twenty years.  Alongside that, a levy increase would be proposed to support the operations and learning that would happen with the addition of a new facility. 

“We recognize that the comprehensive proposal presented by the committee had many great elements.  This initial bond allows us to take care of current needs and upgrades.  We want to be fiscally responsible throughout this process and take care of today’s needs, while realizing there may be a ‘phase two’ of this proposal where we would re-evaluate the needs of our district and community to initiate the additional components involved in this plan,” shared Jeff Schwiebert, Sartell-St. Stephen School District Superintendent.  “For example, we could plan for potential growth in the design of a new facility and the upgrades of current ones.  If that happens as projected, we will be well positioned to make the next steps as a district and community.”

The Board also discussed timing of the bond and levy vote.  By having a May vote, which would need to be a mail ballot process based on state law, a new high school could be open by 2019.  If the district would wait until a November election, a new school would be pushed back in opening by six months to a year.  “A mail ballot may be our best option considering our buildings are full right now and we need to act.  To wait six months could put us back almost a year and costs will continue to increase,” stated Schwiebert.  “Ballots are mailed to every eligible voter within the district.  Citizens can mail in their vote, or drop it off at a polling place.  The process for voters is quite simple.”

Recent History of District Portion of Property Taxes