Area school district takes questions to constituents
Adams to hold special election, Drayton asks for mill levy increase
REGION—The Adams and Drayton School districts are holding special elections on Oct. 9. The Adams District is asking to re-organize and the Drayton District is asking its patrons to approve a mill levy increase.
On Oct. 9, the residents of the Adams School District will vote on whether or not to reorganize with the Park River School District. If approved all the land in the Adams District will become part of the new reorganized district.
According to Julie Skorheim, who is the President of the Adams School Board, taxes for Adams residents will go up from approximately 118.97 mills to 131 mills as a result of the reorganization.
“On June 30, 2013 all assets including cash balances will be turned over to the new school district,” she wrote. “The Adams School District will no longer exist and the Park River Area School District will be the official name of the new district as the result of the reorganization.”
According to Frank Schill, who is the superintendent at Edmore, the Adams District currently has a co-op agreement with the Park River District, which will be looking to annex $2.2 million worth of taxable valuation.
“Edmore and Adams have a unique agreement as both school districts keep the land separate in their respective districts and have separate school boards,” Schill said.
Students in K-6 are sent to school in Adams and 7-12 grade are educated in Edmore.
According to Skorheim, if the majority of the Adams School District residents choose to not vote in favor of the reorganization plan then the Adams School Board will have several options which include discussing continuing the co-op agreement with the Edmore School District, entering into a reorganization agreement with a neighboring school district, or dissolving the Adams School District.
“If the board chooses to dissolve, account balances will be returned to the taxpayers of the Adams School District and the land within the Adams School District boundaries will be dispersed according to the North Dakota Century Code,” she said.
“Each community in North Dakota is different and each community must decide when it is the ‘right’ time to reorganize or dissolve their school,” Skorheim said. “What is important is that all the eligible Adams School District voters show up on Oct. 9, at the City Auditorium on main street from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., to vote on the reorganization issue and the future path of the Adams community.”
Drayton School District patrons will head to the polls on Oct. 9 to vote on a $3.1 million school improvement project. The improvement project calls for roof replacement and for heating and cooling improvements in the school.
“The school is 50 years old and needs a 21st century heating and cooling system and a new roof,” Drayton Superintendent Hy Schlieve said. “The vents in the classroom are 50 years old and it’s hard to control the heat.”
The plan he said is to install a heating and cooling system that can be electronically and digitally controlled.
According Schlieve, technically the Drayton School Board wouldn’t need approval from the patrons of the district and could do it on their own, under the technology hazard provision of the North Dakota Century Code.
“We don’t want to do that,” he said. “The board believes the best approach is to ask the patrons of the district for the money.”
According to Schlieve, the $3.1 million worth of improvements to the school would require a little more than a 15 mill increase per year to finance the repayment of the bonds. After 20 years the mills would retire and come off the tax rolls.
It is estimated the mill levy change would increase the taxes on a $50,000 house $63 a year, while taxes would increase $126 on a $100,000 house. The average Pembina County agricultural valuation is $951, the 15 mill increase adds $1.33 per acre to that average.
The vote on Oct. 9, will take place at the school from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.