LPS heating and ventilation project update

From: Mike McNulty, Lester Prairie Schools Superintendent
Hello to all the residents of the Lester Prairie School District. I am writing to inform you of the upcoming special election that will take place Jan. 16, 2013 at the Lester Prairie School. The election will be asking the residents to vote on transferring excess funds from the heating and ventilation project to the capital fund.
How much will be transferred?
Approximately $600,000 will be transferred.
Why this transfer?
The monies will be used to pay for a sprinkler system in the school,  asbestos removal in the school, and the replacement of a large section of roof on the east side of the school.
Will your taxes be increased if the election passes?
No. The monies that are being transferred are already being levied over the next 20 years. The debt levy starts in the fall of 2013.
What will occur if the election does not pass?
The $600,000 would be used to pay off the debt from the project. However, the sprinkler system and asbestos removal costs would then be levied through the health and safety levy. This levy would only be spread over one to three years  and this would result in a large increase to your taxes.
Why are we having this election?
The Lester Prairie School District followed: Minnesota Laws 2011, 1st Special Session, Chapter 11, Article 5, Section 11, as amended by Laws 2012, Chapter 239, Article 1, Section 31, by passing a resolution that asks for the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to allow us to transfer the monies from the heating and ventilation project to the capital fund.
The MDE denied the request. The Lester Prairie District then met with the MDE to explain the request – the required installation of the sprinkler system as instructed by the fire marshall, the removal of the asbestos throughout the school, and the replacement of the tattered roof above the east wing.
I approached the MDE, letting them know the monies would be earmarked for two required projects and one needed project, the roof, to protect the project work already being done. Since the building was already dismantled, the cost to complete the projects this past summer would be less. Also, the roof would have been replaced by this past October, and the leaking would not ruin the work done.
The levy for the project is already in place and the transfer of the funds will not increase the district levy. However, if the health and safety levy for the sprinkler system and asbestos has to take place in a 1-3 year period instead of a 20-year period, your taxes will increase.
I will be going around to various groups and individuals over the next two months to educate anyone and everyone who would like to better understand, or ask questions relating to the special election.
If you would like to visit with me, call me at (320) 395-3001 to set up a time to talk.
I appreciate your school support. Come look at the improvements in your school. The students at the Lester Prairie Schools are enjoying the positive changes.

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