Marion voters to decide on bond issue Tuesday

April 28, 2016

By John Raffel

The polls will be open on May 3 for Marion School District residents, who will be asked to vote for a bond request that would raise $2.7 million for projects at both the elementary and junior/senior high school.

Polls are open 7 a.m to 8 p.m. that day, according to school officials, who add that residents can vote in their normal polling place for local, state and national elections. Residents not sure of their polling place can go to for more information.

The district has been distributing brochures in recent weeks that say the bond, by raising the necessary dollars, will reduce costs through energy improvements, improve safety to district facilities and reduce district operational costs and allow more monies to go into educational costs.

District election materials also say that the bond issue would update temperature control systems and reduce energy costs and, with new technology equipment for student use, would help prepare students for 21st century jobs. The district says four of its busses have failed safety inspections and can’t be used. One has been leased but two more are needed.

School officials say the proposal would provide three new busses, add security hardware and exterior doors. It would also replace junior-senior high school backup boiler and add new temperature controls in both buildings and have new heating units in the 1992 high school addition. At the football stadium, it would replace the cracked concrete wall and railing at existing bleachers and replace sanitary and electrical service to existing concessions buildings.

Meier is optimistic but said on Wednesday he hasn’t yet heard too much feedback.

“We’re running a different campaign this year,” he said. “It’s more kind of grassroots. More people are out there talking to the community one-on-one. I’ve asked some people and they say they’re hopeful. In essence, I think they’re positive but we don’t take anything for granted. It’s hard to know. I’m always optimistic about things.”

It’s a different bond issue than was proposed in the past.

“We listened to the community and they thought we needed to cut it in half,” Meier said. “So we went from 5.2 (million) last year to 2.7 (million) this year, that’s a pretty good effort in terms of millions of dollars we’re hoping to generate.

“I have to take dollars I could dedicate toward textbooks, maybe programs, and spend those on repairs and replacements,” Meier said. “If I don’t have to rent a bus, I can help put new books in kids’ hands. If I was talking to an undecided voter, I would say to someone that unlike other taxes, all these dollars stay in Marion. The school is a pivotal function for a little town like Marion. A school is a main drawing card and focus for the community. It helps all of our kids.”

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