To view every page and read every word of The Kenmare News each week,
subscribe to our ONLINE EDITION!
By Caroline Downs
Voters in the Lewis & Clark Public School District No. 161 defeated a proposal to issue $12 million in bonds to fund a building and renovation project for Berthold Public School.
The special election was held Monday in precincts across the district, with 778 voters responding. Members of the Lewis & Clark District school board canvassed the results during their regular board meeting Monday night, held in Berthold with 12 members of the public waiting to hear the outcome.
The first question on the ballot asked voters to approve the $12 million bond issue.
The Ryder precinct tallied 113 votes against the bond issue.
The Makoti precinct reported 117 votes against the issue and 13 in favor.
The Plaza precinct reported 107 votes against the issue and 25 in favor.
The Carpio precinct tallied 13 votes against the bond issue and 56 supporting it.
The Berthold precinct tallied 53 votes against the issue and 281 supporting it.
The total count was 375 votes in favor of the bond issue and 403 against it. With only 48.2 percent support, the bond issue failed.
The second question on the ballot asked voters if the district could raise its limit of indebtedness to 10 percent of its assessed valuation, five percent above the limit imposed by the state constitution.
The Ryder precinct reported 114 votes against the increase.
The Makoti precinct reported 120 votes against the increase and 9 votes supporting it.
The Plaza precinct tallied 103 votes against the increase and 28 votes for it.
The Carpio precinct recorded 17 votes against the increase and 52 votes for it.
The Berthold precinct tallied 62 votes against the increase and 271 supporting it.
The total count was 360 votes in favor of raising the school district’s limit of indebtedness and 416 votes opposed to the increase. With support from only 46.39 percent of the voters in the election, the district’s debt limit will not change at this time.
The school board approved a motion to accept the results.
Board members briefly discussed comments by patron Kevin Hansen, Ryder, about the feasibility of building a high school at a site centrally-located within the school district. They agreed with Hansen the idea had merit, but prohibitive costs beyond the district’s debt limit, availability of suitable land to purchase, and access to emergency ambulance and fire services remained obstacles to the plan.
Board members did not discuss further plans related to the building project proposed for Berthold Public School.
Board president Mike Lautenschlager thanked Hansen for his statements. “We’re back to square one basically,” he said about the election’s outcome.