NEW BREMEN — The third time was a charm for the New Bremen Local School District as voters, Tuesday, approved a 30-year, combined 8.46 mill property tax levy to build a new kindergarten-eighth grade building.
It was the third time the district had tried to get a levy passed for a new building. New Bremen Schools Superintendent Andrea Townsend said she felt the big difference was the expiration of the levy for the new high school building.
“The high school will be paid off and come off the property taxes,” she said.
Townsend said she was happy for the students and the community, saying it will be a big boost in education.
“We appreciate all who came out and voted yes or no. It is not an easy decision to ask the community to pay for a large building project. The school board recognizes the financial sacrifice it will take from (residents) and will use the funds to build the best building for our students,” said Board of Education President Tom Paul in a release, Wednesday.
After failing the first two times, the vote passed this time easily by 63 percent to 37 percent.
The voter turnout in the New Bremen East precinct was high: 95.5 percent of eligible voters weighed in on the issue; 441 of them voted for the bond issue and levy; 178 voted against.
In the New Bremen West precinct, just under 55 percent of citizens voted; 208 were in favor; 135 were opposed.
Forty-one percent of German Township votes cast 144 yes and 124 no votes on the issue.
There are 509 Shelby County residents who were eligible to vote on the bond issue and levy in New Bremen. Just 34 of them went to the ballot box, voting 16 in favor and 18 opposed.
Owners of a $100,000 home will pay $261 per year for construction and $30 to $35 a year for the permanent improvements. Collection on the existing 1 mill permanent improvement levy will stop with the new levy.
Construction will begin in the spring of 2018 with the tentative completion date in time for the 2020-2021 school year.
“The next phase will be placing the bonds out for bid and selecting an architect. The board has visited many of the new local schools for design ideas and will work with the architect to accommodate the students of our great school district,” Paul said.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm.
Reach Patricia Ann Speelman at 937-538-4824.