Kenmare voters reject school bond issue

Kenmare voters narrowly defeated a $14 million bond issue election Tuesday that would have paid for construction of a new classroom addition and a secondary gymnasium.

Superintendent Duane Mueller said the vote total was 216 voters in favor of the bond issue and 209 against. The unofficial vote count showed 49.2 percent in favor, but the bond issue required a 60 percent or greater majority to pass. There were 425 total voters.

If it had been approved, grades K-12 would all have been under one roof for the first time. Currently, elementary students attend school in a building located about six blocks away from the high school.

Taxes would have gone up $267.85 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home in Kenmare, $250.17 per year for the owner of $100,000 worth of agricultural land and $241.06 for the owner of $100,000 worth of commercial/ag land. If the bond issue passed, the old elementary school, built in the 1950s, will be demolished

Mueller said the school board hasn’t had a chance to discuss what its next steps will be. The board is set to canvass the results on Monday.

Andrea Johnson