MARSHALL COUNTY (KSNT) – Residents in Marshall County who are part of the USD 498 school district will soon be faced with a special election later this year.

Valley Heights Schools made an announcement on June 30 that a special vote has been set for Aug. 30, 2022. This vote concerns improvements to the school district in the form of upgrading buildings and the construction of a new elementary school addition. Residents will have two questions given to them with the options of voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the first question, ‘yes’ to both questions or giving no answer.

The first question that residents will be presented with is a request for the authority to issue no more than $13.865 million in bonds to build a new elementary school addition and an auxiliary gym/multipurpose addition. This also includes other improvements at the Valley heights campus located between Waterville and Blue Rapids. This question is considered the highest priority.

Question two requests the authority to issue no more than $4.675 million in bonds to make other improvements to district buildings. This includes upgrades to the existing Valley Heights High School mechanical equipment, the Vo-Ag building and improvements to the Blue Rapids gymnasium.

Question one is estimated to require a net mill levy increase of 13.48 mills which amounts to added taxes of $12.92 per month on a $100,000 home. The second question would require an additional 6.03 mills that would amount to $5.78 per month on a $100,000 home in added taxes.

USD 498 has also started to form a K.I.D.S. (Keep Improving District Schools) Committee to gather and share information about challenges the district is facing, proposed solutions and the bond issue cost. The goal of this committee is that every patron and voter in the district will have enough information to make an informed decision on or before August 30. Those who want to help the committee are encouraged to contact USD 498 Superintendent Melissa Kennedy at 785-36302398.

A community meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, July 10 with meetings at the Blue Rapids Community Center at 2 p.m. and the Waterville Community Center at 4 p.m.