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Ottawa Elementary wants 500-student school, referendum could follow

Posted by wlpo on November 13, 2009

The fate of a new Central Elementary School in Ottawa could be in the hands of voters.

          The elementary school board Thursday night voted to build a new school for 500 students at a cost of just over $25 million.  To fund the majority of that cost, the board will vote Tuesday night whether to ask for an $18.5 million tax referendum.  If the board approves the referendum question, it’ll be on the February 2nd primary election ballot.

Even though FEMA awarded the district $12.3 million because of the flood, Superintendent Craig Doster says they only have $6.9 million of that available right now.  The rest is being held up by an insurance claim.        

If the referendum passes and the district gets all the money promised to them by FEMA and the state, they could abate taxes raised thru the referendum or just decide not to sell bonds.  All the “ifs” has Doster admitting that the district is taking big risks, but they can’t afford to wait around any longer.

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