Bond Referendum

Election Day - November 2, 2021

Find your polling place today by going to the following link: Find Your Precinct/Polling Place

There are two propositions on the school election ballot for the South Winneshiek CSD, Proposition S and Proposition W, regarding the school bond referendum. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Polling sites are:  

  • Precinct 7 (Calmar Twp and Springfield Twp including the cities of Calmar and Spillville) Calmar Lutheran Church
  • Precinct 8 (Military Twp and Bloomfield Twp including the cities of Ossian and Castalia) Ossian Community Center
  • Precinct 10 (Jackson Twp, Sumner Twp and Washington Twp including the cities of Fort Atkinson, Jackson Junction and also Festina)            Fort Atkinson Community Center

Facts: 

  • With a successful bond referendum, the NICC Board of Trustees will transfer 13+ acres of land on their Calmar Campus for $1.00 to be used for the site for the new South Winneshiek High School.
  • A successful bond referendum will mean the South Winneshiek School District can take advantage of the lowest bond interest rates for Iowa school 20-year General Obligation Bonding in history.
  • A successful bond referendum will dramatically change the education of the current and future students in the South Winneshiek School District.

Open Forums

  • The open forums have concluded, please contact Mr. Einck if you have further questions.

The Ballot Questions

In the November 2, 2021 election, South Winneshiek CSD will have two ballot questions:
  1. Shall the Board of Directors of the South Winneshiek Community School District in the County of Winneshiek, State of Iowa, be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $19,155,000 to provide funds to build, furnish, and equip a new high school building and improve the site?
  2. Shall the Board of Directors of the South Winneshiek Community School District in the County of Winneshiek, State of Iowa, be authorized to levy annually a tax exceeding Two Dollars and Seventy Cents ($2.70) per Thousand Dollars ($1,000), but not exceeding Four Dollars and Five Cents ($4.05) per Thousand Dollars ($1,000), of the assessed value of the taxable property within said school corporation to pay the principal of and interest on bonded indebtedness of said school corporation, it being understood that the approval of this proposition shall not limit the source of payment of the bonds and interest, but shall only operate to restrict the amount of bonds which may be issued? 
We would be more than happy to talk to you or your group. If you would like to have someone from the district come talk to your group, please reach out to us at SWbondinfo@swinn.k12.ia.us

South Winneshiek Initiative Facts

South Winneshiek Community School Board to Modernize Facilities

Our students are the future of our communities and our school district.

What is the plan for a new high school building?
  • A new high school building near NICC campus, between the softball field and child care center
  • To include 17 classrooms, career and technical rooms, fine arts and activities spaces
  • Gym, including walking track and courts; open to the public.
  • Partnerships with public and private entities will determine usage of current high school building.
What is the plan for the elementary/middle school?
  • Elementary/Middle School in Ossian will remain in current location
  • Update HVAC system throughout the entire building
  • Fitness center, attached to the southwest corner of the gym, open to the public.
  • PPEL and SAVE funds will be used for these updates. No bond referendum dollars will be used for this.
Why do we need to build a new high school building?
  • Current, well-maintained but aging structure (built in 1930’s, with additions added in the 1960’s & 1990’s) is not designed for the current and future learning environment and new safety protocols. No room for expansion.
  • New high school building will be designed to provide 21st century learning environments that are flexible to support future technology and teaching methods.
  • New high school building will provide better exit and entry points for the safety of all. More efficient office space and better parking.
  • Large common area will allow for one combined lunch period to support more flexible student schedules.
  • The new high school building will include sharing labs, co-teaching, interactive classroom experiences with outdoor learning capabilities to provide efficient collaborative learning for students.
  • Proximity to NICC will allow for the sharing between school and college (students, teachers, and support staff), creating a CTE Regional Center with neighboring school districts to enhance career academies, and future expansion.
  • Quality schools stimulate growth in local businesses and contribute to employment, population growth and economic sustainability.
How does collaboration with NICC bring opportunities and benefits to students and our communities?
  • The CTE Regional Center will be housed in the new high school building where students can engage in career pathways to obtain employment in several career choices.
  • Students can accumulate college courses/credits toward a four-year degree.
  • Sharing programs, instructors and facilities will address teacher shortage.
  • CTE Regional Center could potentially bring in students from surrounding school districts and help meet educational and workforce needs in our own and surrounding communities.
  • CTE Regional Center will provide a pipeline of skilled and trained workers for our local employers that desire to live and work in northeast Iowa, stabilizing the need for quality employees, spurring the housing market, creating new businesses and increasing enrollment in the school district and college.
How will the projects be funded? 
  • The school district will go out for a bond referendum on November 2, 2021 for $19,155,000.00.
  • The district will be asking for a tax increase of at least $2.70 but not to exceed $4.05. Administration will also be looking for opportunities to lower other tax rates to ultimately lower the new overall tax rate.
  • The FY22 budget tax rate is set at $12.51. The average of South Winn’s tax rate for the last 9 years is $12.51. The district has consistently maintained that tax rate. Ten years ago, South Winneshiek’s tax rate was $14.94.
  • Elementary/Middle School facility improvements will be funded out of PPEL and SAVE dollars, which allows the district to bond for less money. PPEL – Physical Plant & Equipment Levy, is levied through property tax. SAVE – Secure an Advanced Vision for Education, is levied through sales tax.
  • A residential property with a $100,000 valuation will have their taxes increased by $10.68/month OR $2.50/week OR $0.36/day. The potential tax increase per month equates to the cost of 2 McDonald’s Happy Meals or half of a Mabe’s pizza.
  • South Winn’s current tax rate is $12.51. If you add the $4.05 increase for the bond referendum the total equals $16.56. However, the district can lower the rate to $14.99 by responsible management of the various levies that comprise the overall tax rate. [This is done by lowering the amount that goes into the management fund and increasing the income surtax, which in effect lowers property taxes.] Through responsible management of the various levis, the district will be increasing the tax rate by $2.48. $14.99 NOT $16.56
  • Income surtax is the total amount of state income tax you are obligated to pay at the end of the year. The district will increase the income surtax from 3% to 8%. For example, if you pay $5,000 in state income tax, the increase will be $250.

South Winneshiek Bond Referendum Flyer

What?
  • To meet the growing needs of our students, the South Winneshiek Board of Education is calling for a special election for the sale of up to
    $19,155,000.00 in general obligation bonds to be held on November 2, 2021. This would cover the costs of a new high school next to the NICC campus. A second ballot question will request authority to levy taxes exceeding $2.70 but not exceeding $4.05 per $1000 taxable valuation.
  • Bond referendum vote requires a 60 percent supermajority vote to pass. If approved, construction would begin the spring of 2023 with completion and move in for the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year.
Why?
  • New high school building will be designed to provide 21st century learning environments that are flexible to support future technology and teaching methods.
  • Classrooms will be in close proximity to each other to promote collaboration through sharing labs, co-teaching, and interactive classroom experiences with outdoor learning capabilities.
    Large commons areas will allow for one combined lunch period to support more flexible schedules and opportunities for students.
  • New high school building will provide better exit and entry points for the safety of all. The new facility will also be much more energy efficient with high efficiency HVAC and constructed with state of the art building materials.
  • Proximity to NICC will allow for the sharing between school and college (students, teachers, and support staff) in a more efficient manner.
  • The creation of a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Regional Center with neighboring school districts will enhance career academy opportunities in STEM, Family Consumer Science, Business, Manufacturing, Health and future expansion while providing additional weighted funding.
  • Fine Art classrooms and stage located in the large commons area will provide a space for professional student organizations, associations and clubs such as speech, FFA leadership, etc. to gather, compete and perform.
  • There will be community access to walking track, gym, stage and commons areas.
  • Quality schools stimulate growth in local businesses and contribute to employment, population growth, and economic sustainability.
Impact on School Tax Levy?
  • Elementary/Middle School facility improvements will be funded from PPEL and SAVE dollars, which allows the district to bond for less money. PPEL – Physical Plant & Equipment Levy, is levied through property tax. SAVE – Secure an Advanced Vision for Education, is levied through sales tax.
  • South Winn’s current tax rate is $12.51. If you add the $4.05 increase for the bond referendum the total equals $16.56. However, the district can lower the rate to $14.99 through restructured management of the various levies that comprise the overall tax rate. This is done by lowering the amount that goes into the management fund and increasing the income surtax, which in effect lowers property taxes. Through restructured management of the various levies, the district will only be increasing the tax rate by $2.48 for a total tax rate of
    $14.99 NOT $16.56.
  • A residential property with a $100,000 valuation will have their taxes increased by $10.68/month OR $2.50/week OR $0.36/day. The potential tax increase per month equates to the cost of 2 kid’s meals from a fast food restaurant.
What Can You Do?
  • Encourage others to learn more about the Bond Referendum and to vote. If you have questions please contact Superintendent Kris Einck at SWbondinfo@swinn.k12.ia.us or call 563-562-3269

Current Tax Rate & SW Tax Rate History