Brainerd Schools Hosting Information Sessions For Referendum
After years of compiling data, over one hundred listening sessions to see what the district’s priorities were, and several trips to the school board, the district is ready to take the next step toward the referendum.
“Now that the board has approved the plan that we are going to be moving forward with for our election, now what we want to do is inform people of the three questions, the election process and talk through each of the aspects and answer questions that out public has,” said Brainerd Public Schools Superintendent Laine Larson.
Tonight’s session focused on the changes that will be made at the Brainerd High School North and South Campus buildings along with the Lincoln Education Center.
“When we go to each of the buildings, we really like to focus on that particular building, but many of the other ones that aren’t in the school buildings themselves we will be doing an overview of the entire project and what that looks like,” Larson said.
Brainerd Schools are working on putting together nearly 50 other listening sessions to inform the public and give time to ask questions.
“We’re really excited to, between that period and April 10, bring forward what we believe is the best plan for the district possible,” Larson said.
For many attendees, tax dollars and funding are at the top of their question list.
“The plan is comprehensive and we believe that we have created a debt structure that makes it affordable for our tax payers,” said Steve Lund, the Brainerd School Business Services Director.
In addition, there is now an interactive tax income calculator on the Blueprint 181 website for homeowners to find out their exact tax increase for all three questions which can be found here.
“One of those levels of funding is the taxpayer voter approved bond, and that’s what the voters are going to show up for on April 10 to vote for, but in addition to that, we also have some other funding mechanisms that we are tapping into to try to reduce that voter approved amount to make it affordable to our taxpayers,” Lund said.
When looking at the building, Brainerd Schools focused on safety, space, efficiency and maintenance to come up with their final plan that will soon be in the hands of the voters for their investment of $145.8 million dollars in the 12 district buildings.
“We encourage people to come and hear, ask questions and especially to vote on April 10,” Larson said.
Here is a full list of upcoming information sessions:
January 30 – Harrison Elementary (1515 Oak Street, Brainerd) at 6:30 p.m.
February 1 – Garfield Elementary (1120 NE 10th Avenue, Brainerd) at 6:30 p.m.
February 5 – Riverside Elementary (220 NW 3rd Street, Brainerd) at 6:30 p.m.
February 6 – Washington Ed. Services Building Room 200 (804 Oak Street, Brainerd) at 6:30 p.m.
February 12 – Brainerd Public Library at 9 a.m.
February 13 – Forestview Middle School (12149 Knollwood Drive, Baxter) at 6:30 p.m.
February 20 – Brainerd Public Library at 1 p.m.
February 22 – Nisswa Elementary (5533 Lakers Lane, Nisswa) at 6:30 p.m.
February 22 – Central Lakes College Cafeteria at 4 p.m.
March 5 – Baxter Elementary (5546 Fairview Road, Baxter) at 6:30 p.m.