Election Results 2023
2,167 yes (64%)
1,208 no (36%)
Buffalo results: 1,317 yes, 698 no
Hanover results: 360 yes, 260 no
Montrose results: 233 yes, 167 no
Absentee results: 257 yes, 83 no
Total voter turnout: 3,375
This is a preview of the district's bond referendum ballot, with some added explanations. For most district residents, this will be the only question on the ballot this fall.
Why does the ballot say that voting yes is voting for a tax increase? BHM School Board Vice Chair Bob Sansevere explains in 90 seconds:
The district is seeking approval of a $41.5 million bond referendum to improve security and maintain district facilities. Approval would allow the district to add secure entrances and automated locking systems; to replace obsolete mechanical systems with newer, more efficient systems; and to improve a variety of other spaces, including classrooms, gymnasiums, the high school Performing Arts Center, and elementary school playground surfaces.
Making investments now in security and maintenance meets current needs and improves safety without increasing costs for taxpayers (see the next question for an explanation). Delaying this request may result in higher costs for the same projects later.
District residents would not see any increase in their current taxes if this bond request is approved. This is because maintenance of district facilities is an ongoing process and existing debt will soon be paid off, allowing new projects to begin without raising taxes beyond current rates.
By law, the ballot must include this language because failure of the referendum would lead to a decrease in taxes when other debt carried by the district is paid off. However, approval of this referendum would not increase the debt portion of school taxes beyond current rates. See the video above for a more thorough explanation.
Yes. A home valued at $220,000 in the district would see a decrease of about $6.67 per month, and a home valued at $330,000 would see a decrease of $10.67 per month, but current maintenance and security needs would go unmet, and the delay may lead to higher costs for those same projects later.
Projects will begin in 2024 and continue until 2026 to create more secure, comfortable and effective learning and activity spaces (gyms, auditoriums, etc.) for students and members of the community.
Projects of this magnitude rarely fit into annual maintenance budgets, so these improvements would occur at a much slower pace, or not at all, until a new bond request is approved.
Preliminary renderings are available on the flyer above, but these are not final designs and changes may be made before construction begins.
At BCMS, Hanover, Tatanka, Montrose and Discovery, the existing mechanical systems are original to the facilities and are 50 or more years old. The steam heating systems are obsolete, are failing, and have required extensive maintenance. These systems are also inefficient. In addition, the activity spaces (gyms, auditoriums, etc.) at BHS, BCMS and Discovery lack the capability to dehumidify the air during non-heating seasons.
The existing lighting, sound, curtains, seating and orchestra shell are original to Buffalo High School and, after extensive use for the past 25 years, are in need of replacement. Including the summer months and weekends, the PAC was in use nearly two out of every three days during the 2022-23 school year for everything from class lectures to concerts and theater productions.
BHM Buildings and Grounds staff compiled a list of the greatest security and maintenance needs that don’t fit into typical facilities budgets, with an eye toward maximizing safety and efficiency well into the future.
Yes, school districts received a historic funding increase for the 2024-25 biennium, but it does not make up for 20 years of underfunding public schools previously. As shown in this graph, the rate of inflation has outpaced general education school funding since 2003.
In addition, the funding increase wasn’t the only thing that was historic in the education bill. It also includes historic new expectations and requirements for school districts, some of which were not funded and will increase costs.
Finally, school districts must comply with far more spending regulations than other local units of government like cities and counties. Most funding is categorical rather than general, meaning it can only be put toward specific purposes. Approval of a bond referendum provides funding specifically for facilities.
Tax impact table
Vote in person
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, district voters can go to their polling place to cast their ballot between 7 am and 8 pm.
|Buffalo Covenant Church - Precinct 1||This combined polling place serves all territory in Independent School District No. 877, located in the City of Buffalo (Precincts 1, 2 and 3) and the townships of Buffalo, Chatham, Maple Lake, Monticello and Rockford in Wright County.|
|Montrose Community Center - Precinct 2||This combined polling place serves all territory in Independent School District No. 877 located in the City of Montrose and the townships of Franklin, Marysville and Woodland in Wright County.|
|Hanover City Hall - Precinct 3||This combined polling place serves all territory in Independent School District No. 877 located in the cities of Corcoran, Hanover, Greenfield, St. Michael and the City of Rogers (Precinct 2) in Wright and Hennepin counties.|
Beginning Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, and continuing until Election Day on Nov. 7, district residents can vote early in person at the Finance and Taxpayer Services office in the Wright County Government Center (3650 Braddock Ave NE, Suite 1400 Buffalo). Regular office hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm.
There will be three days with extended hours for early voting:
- Tuesday, Oct. 17: 8 am to 5 pm
- Saturday, Nov. 4: 10 am to 3 pm
- Monday, Nov. 6: 8 am to 5 pm
In order to receive an absentee ballot to vote early, residents must fill out an absentee ballot application. This application is available at the Government Center, or it can be filled out ahead of time by clicking the button below.
To vote early by mail, and for other voting options, click the buttons below.
Still have questions about this bond referendum? Contact Communications Coordinator Paul Downer at 763.682.8783, or send him an email by clicking the button below.