By Vanessa Lenz

Editor

Another referendum for upgrades to the East Troy Community School District could happen as early as April.

The East Troy School Board set two work sessions for next week to determine whether to put another referendum question in the hands of voters during the April 2 election.

The clock is ticking for the board’s decision, however, with the deadline to get the question on the ballot fast approaching.

The board must make a decision by Jan. 20, because notice must be made 60 days prior to the election, according to Matt Wolfert of Bray Associates Architects.

Wolfert said if the referendum vote isn’t held on April 2, the board would need to hold a special election to get a question on the ballot.

“If April is a target, let’s push ahead,” Wolfert said.

He said the election will likely bring out a motivated electorate with the state Supreme Court race.

Locally the election encompasses municipalities, townships and school board seats.

While Wolfert encouraged the board to not make a decision Monday night, he said it needs to be thinking about the best solution for the district.

“It’s very difficult to find out what the right solution is,” said Wolfert, who said a failed or passed referendum is not necessarily about the dollar amount.

During the Nov. 6 election, East Troy Community School District residents struck down a $17.2 million referendum, which would have provided several upgrades throughout the district that school officials said are needed in the immediate future.

The referendum was rejected 3,545 votes to 3,133 votes.

Key items included in the referendum were $340,000 in safety and security upgrades throughout the district, $2.1 million for a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) addition at East Troy High School, $9.5 million for construction of a community auditorium and $1.4 million for renovation of the traditional technical education rooms at ETHS among other items.

District business manager Kathy Zwirgzdas said if the referendum would have passed, the average estimated tax impact would have been $20 per year or about $1.67 per month for a resident with a $150,000 home.

Wolfert advised the board to consider a new question utilizing different options from the district’s $41 million long-range facilities master plan created by its ad-hoc Facilities Advisory Committee.
The 28-member committee, comprised of community members from across the district, was tasked this summer with prioritizing the district’s laundry list of facilities upgrades.

The board will meet on Monday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. in the East Troy High School library, 3128 Graydon Ave., to discuss the matter further.

The meetings will be open to the public, but public comment will not be allowed.