USD 329 Bond fails 57% to 43%

Emma Alderman, Jacob Meseke | @whscharger

Voters rejected the USD 329 bond by about 14 percent of the vote.

The bond, worth $24.65 million, sought to fund renovations and maintenance of district school buildings, and would have created a K-6 building in Paxico and a 7-12 building in Alma.

Superintendent Brad Starnes released a statement about the vote Wednesday morning. 

“USD 329 heard from voters today; while we may not have received the answer we hoped for, we are grateful for the community’s participation,” he said.

The USD 329 school board will have to return to the drawing board to figure out what to do next. 

“The goals of this bond proposal were to address the needs identified through an extensive process of community research and feedback, and those needs still exist,” Starnes said. 

Alma voters barely passed the bond with a majority of 21 votes, whereas it was heavily rejected in both Maple Hill and Paxico with majorities of 233 and 43 against it. 2034 voters weighed in on the issue, with 1152 rejecting the bond.

“USD 329 would like to thank the voters and community members who participated in this process. We would also like to thank the Board of Education, and the Facilities Committee, who volunteered countless hours researching needs and drafting the proposal for our community,” Starnes said. 

During the USD 329 Board of Education meeting on Monday November 9, the board started discussing what the next steps for our district might be.

“We can’t continue like we are so we’re going to have to do something whether that’s trying to issue a new bond and gathering input for that. Or closing other buildings that we already have. Or moving students from other buildings into interim if that’s even a possibility just to help us reduce our cost,” board member Kelly Oliver said. 

The board scheduled a district direction meeting November 30 for the board to continue discussing plans for the district. 

“The BOE will continue to attempt to find solutions due to existing financial strain on the district facilities maintenance. We will continue to strive for excellence in our work to educate and prepare all students in becoming responsible for their own destinies through being responsible citizens and lifelong learners,” Starnes said. 

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