BEULAH, N.D. - UPDATE 11/1/19:
Courtesy of Superintendent Travis Jordan:
Unofficial Election Results (Official Canvassing on November 4th at the Beulah Board of Education’s Regular Meeting at 6PM in the Beulah High School Conference Room)
Initiated Ballot Measure #1: A measure to decrease the number of members on the Beulah Board of Education from 7 to 5.
Yes = 258 (24%)
No = 823 (76%)
50% “Yes” needed to pass
Initiated Measure Fails
Initiated Ballot Measure #2: A measure to eliminate the building fund levy.
Yes= 251 (23%)
No= 830 (77%)
60% “Yes” needed to pass
Initiated Measure Fails.
"We would like to thank all of those that exercised their right to vote. Beulah Schools will continue to foster a top notch education for students while balancing educational excellence and property tax revenues," said Jordan.
"A special thank you to all of the election officials that gave their time today and especially a thank you goes out to Joni Filibeck and Krista Richau for their hard work and dedication over the last 60 days out of our business office. Many hours go in to putting on a special election and these ladies worked their day to day duties while managing this election on top of it. Often times doing nothing during the day except handling absentee voting. We are extremely blessed at Beulah Schools with an amazing staff," said Jordan.
Monday evening the board will canvas the results to make them official.
UPDATE 10/3/2019: More than 3,000 people live in Beulah. Only 64 residents voted in the last school board election on July 11.
A vote on the district's building fund is scheduled for October 29. So far, 125 people have already pre-voted for that election.
The district is holding a special election later this month. We spoke to people in August, who don't want it to pass, and tonight we hear from someone who does.
It's beginning to look a lot like an election in Beulah.
Bruce Neuberger is the catalyst behind a petition seeking to change the way Beulah schools funds its infrastructure.
"My goal is to make sure that any time a long-term bond, a long-term debt is put on the people of the school district, that the people of the school district get to vote on it," said Neuberger.
Currently, the district has the ability to bond out of the building fund without approval of the voters and Bruce wants to see that changed.
"The school can still levy bonds, but the one big difference if they don't have a building fund to do it from, the citizens get to vote on every long-term bond that the school board sets out from here forward," said Neuberger.
Bruce Neuberger says this isn't personal, however he paid for around 2,000 flyers to be sent to people in the district.
Neuberger says he also distributed these flyers on public bulletins, but they have been removed. Now, lots of "Vote No" signs are appearing around town in support of maintaining the building fund.
"We would have to look elsewhere for that revenue, likely we would have to levy a miscellaneous fund of 12 mills, which would get us part way there because right now we levy 17 mills," said superintendent Travis Jordan.
"To me this whole issue boils down to one thing, do you trust your local school board?" said Neuberger.
Voters will have the final say on this issue on Oct. 29, when the special election is held.
The election takes place at Beulah high school, and an absentee vote option is available as well.
Additional information is available in the PDF documents attached on the right side of this story.
For the original story see below.
ORIGINAL STORY 8/21/2019: Beulah's school district is facing a number of obstacles. Now the district has a new challenge.
According to the petitions author Bruce Neuberger, thirty nine people signed a petition to get rid of the district's building fund, which is used to maintain schools. Only 13 signatures were needed because 64 people voted in the last election. Now, the district must hold a special election.
Deanne Gierke has two kids in Beulah schools. She says it's important to keep the building fund since buildings have struggled with maintenance.
"There's numerous different things that money's been used for in the past and it gets spent down and then gets built back up after taxes are collected and then gets spent back down," said Gierke.
Superintendent Travis Jordan says if the building fund goes away, so does the $520,000 revenue, that goes towards the buildings every year.
"We would have to look elsewhere for that revenue, likely we would have to levy a miscellaneous fund of 12 mills which would get us part way there because right now we levy 17 mills," said Jordan.
Gierke says its important for residents to look into what the fund does and what it means to them.
"If we abolish the levy, that particular levy would go away but the school district because they still have to maintain those buildings, still do have other avenues of still doing miscellaneous levy, those types of things so that the funds are still going to be at the schools and fundamentally we probably won't see a decrease in taxes because the school still needs those funds in order to maintain," said Gierke.
"Individuals will have to weigh in on whether they want to keep our building fund and whether they want our board to go down from 7 to 5," said Jordan.
The special election is slated for Oct. 29.
For more information or any questions on voting, contact the Beulah Public School District at 701-873-2261.