(Cambria-Friesland) Voters in the Cambria-Friesland School District will see a referendum question on the spring ballot. The district is seeking to exceed revenue limits by $3.2-million dollars over the next three years. The referendum is similar to a $1.4-million-dollar question voters approved three years ago which is coming to an end. Superintendent Tim Raymond the funding is needed for operations and buildings maintenance.
Raymond says small districts like Cambria-Friesland with stagnant or declining enrollment lose state aid and levying authority. If the referendum fails, the district would have to cut $740-thousand dollars from its $5.7-million-dollar budget next year, followed by $70-thousand dollars the following year and $190-thousand in the 2020-2021 school year. No matter which way the vote turns out, the mill rate is expected to drop. If the question passes, in year one the mill rate would drop 37-cents to $11.90-per thousand dollars of assessed value. If it fails, the mill rate would drop $4.60 to $7.67-per-thousand. Raymond says the district would then have to reach out to the community for input regarding their next step.
Not all the funds would be used for operating expenses as $300-thousand dollars is being earmarked for building and grounds projects. That includes addressing issues with the school roof, windows, lighting and the high school boys and girls locker rooms. The 2015 referendum was approved by 70-percent of roughly 500 district voters. There will be seven referendum presentations offered between tonight and March 21. Tonight, it will be in the village of Cambria at 7pm. Tomorrow morning at 8:30am, there will be one in the Town of Courtland and tomorrow evening at 7pm in the Town of Springvale. On Wednesday at 6pm, a presentation will be in the district library.