Breaking down the ballot: Dover-Eyota Public Schools referendum

(ABC 6 News) – In just a few days, people in Dover-Eyota will have their say on if their money will be used to fix the district’s public schools. If the two questions pass, there will be more than $20 million brought in for improvements.

The plan focuses on improving school buildings, increasing security, and expanding learning space. Something the district said can’t happen with their current annual budget.

Question one will repair ceilings, floors, and replace HVAC systems to improve indoor air quality. Security cameras will be upgraded and more will be added. There will also be a new front office with enhanced security. This means people have to be checked in rather than what it is now which is that the doors are open to the whole school and anyone can walk right in.

"The number one job of a school district is to make sure we have a safe and secure building for our kids and our staff," said Superintendent Jeremy Frie with Dover-Eyota Public Schools. "Currently, we do not have as secure of an entrance as we should have."

"It all costs money," added Ron Pagel who is a school board member.

"It costs a lot of money. We looked at piecemealing the project. We decided to roll it into one big package and do it as one big project and take care of it all at one time. It’s just more efficient that way."

Question two will repair air handling systems, and classroom windows. It will also add two new general-purpose classrooms. For one Eyota man, he said he’s leaning towards voting ‘no’ because the things in question two, should be a priority than in question one.

"Why are you putting those items into a question or bond referendum to add more money into a bond if you have the money to fix it already?" Asked Wesley Bussell who lives near the high and middle school.

"Why don’t you fix it? Why don’t you leave it? They got bad dirty water in the school for the kids. They won’t even drink, or wash their hands."

For an average home value of $245,000, you could see a $9.08 per month tax impact. That breaks down to $6.67 per month towards question one, and $2.41 per month towards question two.