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Saturday, January 10, 2009

West Bend School Board looks to condemn land prior to referendum

The West Bend School Board is considering condemning a piece of land in Jackson on which to put a new Jackson Elementary School. Superintendent Patricia Herdrich said school boards can condemn properties, but West Bend doesn’t want to condemn properties with houses on them.

A six-acre parcel the board is considering is vacant and owned by a developer. The board is considering other portions of land as well, Herdrich said.

At a work session Monday, an attorney will be on hand to answer board members’ questions.

Whether or not to condemn land will be discussed in open session. Herdrich wouldn’t give specific land parcels being considered. Possible Jackson land purchase has been discussed in closed session meetings.

Condemning land means the district may buy the land at the appraised value in order to put a school on the property. The district has to prove using the land is the only solution for the school, Herdrich said.

The board has eyed Jackson Elementary School for replacement for years because it is old, rundown and small. Its core was built in 1894 followed by several additions over the years. Land purchase and new school construction was on a 2007 $119 million failed referendum and a referendum tentatively slated for April.

Herdrich said about nine acres are needed for a 650-capacity elementary school. Adjacent land to the parcels being considered for condemnation could be purchased to reach nine acres.

The work session runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at West Bend West High School. The board does not take action at work sessions, but could come to a general consensus on direction.


Now let me understand this...

We had a massive FAILED referendum in 2007.

The board politely "held off" the newly-proposed $103K referendum in November citing the current "economical situation."

The school board is going to continue moving forward with the SAME, EXACT REFERENDUM in spring, despite the declining economics, job losses, and overall financial downslide of the nation...and are ASSUMING that the referendum will pass with this latest venture?


I think not.

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