Port Edwards pursues April school referendum
FOR CITY TIMES
PORT EDWARDS — The Port Edwards School District will put two referendum questions on the April 2, 2024 ballot. The first question is to approve a five-year operational referendum for $850,000 annually. The second question is for $7.3 million to address capital improvements and maintenance repairs.
The funding formula for Wisconsin public schools has limited funding since 1993. As a result, many schools turn to operational referendums to keep up with day-to-day expenses. Port Edwards is no different. The District passed an operating referendum in 2019 to help pay staff salaries and educational programming. That referendum is concluding, and the proposed $850,000/year operational referendum is set to replace it. If this referendum is approved, taxpayers will see no tax impact on the debt service.
The $7.3 million capital improvement referendum will cover much-needed maintenance repairs. Ed Heuer Elementary School was built in 1968, and John Edwards High School was constructed in 1932. Despite aging facilities, the District has never pursued a capital referendum. A Facility Advisory Committee was formed in the summer of 2023 to perform building walk-throughs and prioritize needs. Projects on the list include performing HVAC updates, replacing cracked flooring, abating asbestos, and exterior repairs. The estimated tax impact on a $100,000 home would be an additional $11.92 monthly, or $143 annually.
For more information on the upcoming referendum, including a complete list of proposed projects, visit www.pesd.org/district/referendum.cfm.