Invest in our ISD 197 schools

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Pat Hinderscheid’s letter regarding the ISD 197 proposed school bonds. I appreciate Mr. Hinderscheid’s look into the details of the bond, but there were some misunderstandings. 

Mr. Hinderscheid asserted the bond will cost the median value homeowner $180 (actually estimated at $177) in 2020 and $324 in 2025, but it’s important to note this is not an additional $177/$324 to what taxpayers are already paying. Taxpayers currently pay $170 in 2020 and are set to pay an estimated $317 in 2025. Today that amount is going toward older bonds that will soon be paid off. So the new bond would, yes, add $7 per month to a median value homeowner, and this would bring the total tax to $177, but this is only an increase of $7 to what is currently being paid, not an additional $177. 

If the referendum passes, the debt would be structured so the district would pay interest only through 2019. Beginning with taxes payable in 2020 the district would start paying off principal, so new payments on the proposed debt would be offset by reductions in payments on old debt. This is a common way of structuring debt. Here is a link to the ISD 197 website with a graph illustrating the tax impact over time: www.isd197.org/about/bond/tax_impact. 

A $7 per month increase to keep our schools in line with other area schools? I can’t think of a better return on investment. Vote “yes”!

Jennifer McNally, Mendota Heights


Vote ‘yes’ for the upcoming ISD 197 bond

To the Editor:

During the past 47 years, I’ve had the privilege of being involved in the schools in District 197. As a math teacher, coach and athletic director, and now volunteer, I fully support the question being posed to our community.  

When I was asked to be part of the citizen committee that was going to study the possibility of a bond referendum, I readily agreed. A careful study of the needs of the district was developed and sent to the school board for approval. I am excited about the proposed plan. Needed maintenance will be done on all school buildings in the district. The funds will also be used to update and improve the academic, fine arts and athletic facilities in the district. If the bond issue passes, the students in District 197 will be the winners.

Dean Verdoes, Mendota Heights

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