After months of planning and galvanizing community support, Mound Westonka Superintendent Kevin Borg says he is pleased and grateful that voters approved all three of the supplemental funding requests during Tuesday’s election.
“We’re very appreciative of the community’s support,” Borg said a day after voters passed the extension of an existing operating levy and nearly $30 million in new bonding issuances. “We feel a great sense of responsibility.”
Extension of the operating levy will continue to provide $573.46 per pupil annually. Funding provided by the bond issuances will pay for what Borg called a wide variety of upgrades and needed maintenance to the district’s facilities.
While voter approval of the operating levy’s extension will not result in new taxes, approval of the bonding requests will add approximately $132 to the annual property taxes of an average $300,000 home in the district.
A launched by parents and community members helped propel approval of the referendum requests. Superintendent Borg thanked those who supported the referendums for their time and passion in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election.
“As a superintendent, I’d say that it was not only parents but community members, as well, who helped educate the public about why this was being brought forward,” Borg said. “It will be beneficial to our students, of course, but also to the community as a whole.”
So what’s next?
Borg said the district would spend the next few months developing a process to interview firms and companies that will carry out the upgrades and maintenance. Limited work should begin once school lets out for the summer, with more complex projects requiring detailed engineering to follow.
Roofing and upgrades to the mechanical systems of buildings are two key initiatives that Borg said would float to the top of the district’s priority list.
Renewal of the operating levy passed with 2,616 voters in favor and 1,414 opposed. The bonding request was presented to voters in two separate questions. The first sought approximately $23.3 million and passed by a vote of 2,258 to 1,768. Approval of the second bonding request, which was contingent on the first passing and called for an additional $6.6 million, was approved with 2,122 voters in favor and 1,898 opposed.
Borg made a point to convey to community members, who voted for or against the referendums, that the district will focus on prudent allocation and use of the public funding approved this week and maintain a transparent spending process.
“For some, it will be about earning their trust,” he said. “For others, it will be about keeping it.”