Minot voters defeated a $125 million school bond issue election on Tuesday.
There were 4,340 yes votes in favor of the $125 million bond issue and 4,349 no votes, making the vote about 50-50. The bond issue required 60 percent or greater approval to pass.
Voters also were asked to grant approval to increase the school district's debt by an additional 5 percent beyond the current 5 percent debt limit set by the state constitution. Voters defeated that proposal with 4,786 no votes and 3,894 yes votes.
Kim Peterson, Minot, prepares to cast her vote at Washington Elementary in Tuesday’s $125 million bond election as election workers Arlene Ritzke and Lana Simons offer assistance.
"The board will have to meet and decide on their next course of action," said school district manager Scott Moum. "I would say we are extremely disappointed."
If it had been approved, the $125 million school bond issue would have raised money for a number of identified projects, including a new 550 student elementary school on 10 acres of land already owned by the district at the corner of 37th Avenue and 13th Street Southeast, the purchase of land in north Minot and construction of a second 9-12 high school, converting Central Campus into a fourth middle school for the school district, renovating Magic City Campus so it could accommodate grades 9-12, additions as needed at other elementaries and safety and security measures, such as relocating school offices closer to front entrances and adding more video cameras at schools.
The bond issue issue in Minot would have also raised the school district mill levy by 51 mills. The owner of a $200,000 home in Minot could have expected to pay an additional $456 per year in school property taxes.
Enrollment in the district stands at 7,400 students. Portable classrooms are in use at a number of schools due to overcrowding. The district projects that another 1,000 students could enroll in the district within the next five years. Since the bond issue failed, school officials have said it might be necessary to redraw district boundary lines and send children to other schools in order to lessen crowding at some schools.