Tomahawk School Board to vote on spring referendum on Jan. 12
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
TOMAHAWK – A potential April 6, 2021 operational referendum was a topic of discussion during the School District of Tomahawk Board of Education’s Tuesday, Dec. 8 meeting.
The discussion comes after the narrow defeat of the district’s November referendum, which sought $3.5 million each year for the next four years.
District Administrator Terry Reynolds noted that the resolution, like the one in November, would ask for $3.5 million per year beginning in the 2021-2022 school year through the 2024-2025 school year.
The mill rate for this year is $9 per $1,000 of property valuation. If the referendum passes in the spring the mill rate will be $9.08 for 2021-2022; $8.86 for 2022-2023; $8.51 for 2023-2024; and $8.31 for 2024-2025.
Last year’s mill rate was $9.34.
“Even with the additional $3.5 million in funding, the district would still need to spend an estimated $1.8 million the last two years out of our fund balance to balance the budget,” Reynolds added.
Reynolds noted that funds from the referendum would also likely cover costs for various maintenance projects on campus, including roof repairs and blacktop work.
“Going less than ($3.5 million per year), we’re probably going to have to go into the fund balance sooner to do what we have to do and not do any of the things that we probably should be doing in the next four years,” he said. “I think the 3.5 (million dollars per year) is going to give us more options for our facility and our facility needs, and also for staffing.”
Numerous board members also expressed their support for again requesting $3.5 million per year.
Reynolds and the board discussed the previous referendum’s slim defeat, and pointed to voters not knowing the referendum’s goal as a possible reason for its failure.
“I think we’re all on the same page with trying to get a little bit more information out,” Reynolds stated, adding that he hoped more people will be able attend informational meetings in the future.
The board will vote on adopting the referendum resolution on Jan. 12.