Voters in the Iowa Falls School District get the opportunity to weigh in on a proposed new building project in a bond referendum vote being held today.
The project has been a point of discussion going back to the fall of 2019. Last year, a facilities study committee comprised of volunteers from throughout the district began looking into the needs of the district and the repairs the existing buildings need, as outlined in a facilities assessment. Late last year, the committee recommended and the Iowa Falls School Board accepted a proposal to build a new elementary school for preschool through 5th grade adjacent to Iowa Falls-Alden High School. The project would also expand and renovate a portion of the high school.
Find a timeline of Times Citizen coverage of the action that led to the school bond vote here, and find information about the project, its effects on taxes, and answers to frequently asked questions on a school district website here.
The bond would be the first for the district in more than 20 years. The measure needs 60 percent approval plus one vote to pass.
What’s the issue?
The Iowa Falls School District is proposing to build a new Preschool through 5th grade elementary school adjacent to Iowa Falls-Alden High School. The project would also include renovation and expansion of part of the high school. Find more information about the $28.5 million proposed project here.
Who can vote?
The Iowa Falls School District's boundaries stretch across the central portion of Hardin County, up into the south central portion of Franklin County.
The Iowa Falls School District bond referendum is open to voters in the Iowa Falls School District, which includes areas of northern Hardin County and southern Franklin County.
When can I vote?
Tuesday, March 2 is Election Day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you didn't request and complete a mail-in ballot, or shown up to vote absentee in-person at the Hardin or Franklin courthouse, you must vote in person at a precinct location on March 2 to participate in the election. Don’t forget to take a form of ID with you to the polls. Acceptable forms of ID include: a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, or Voter ID Card.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot was Feb. 19. Completed absentee ballots must be returned to your county's auditor's office and they must have been postmarked no later than March 1.
Where should I go to vote?
If you haven’t voted via mailed absentee ballot or in-person absentee, you must vote at your precinct’s polling location between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2. If you're not sure which precinct you live in (and where you should vote), you can look up your voter registration and your precinct polling location via the Iowa Secretary of State's website here. You can also find a list of Hardin County’s precincts and their polling locations (and links to those locations on a map) on the Hardin County website here. Franklin County voters in the Iowa Falls School District will vote at the Bradford Community Center (302 Main St.). Don't forget to take a form of ID with you to the polls. Acceptable forms of ID include: a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, or Voter ID Card.
I’m not registered to vote. Can I still participate?
Iowa allows for same-day voter registration, which means you can show up at your precinct polling location (find that here, based on where you live) and register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time. You will need some key items if you plan to register and vote on Tuesday. You will need to prove who you are and where you live. The easiest way to do this is with your valid Iowa driver's license with your current address printed on it. If you don't have that, find a list of the acceptable forms of proof here.
What’s on the ballot?
There are two questions on the school bond ballot. Of all the votes cast, 60 percent plus one vote must be in favor of both questions for the bond to be approved. The first question on the ballot asks permission for the school district to levy taxes to raise $28,560,000 to build a new elementary school and make renovations and additions at the high school. The second question asks permission to set a tax levy between $2.70 and $4.05 per $1,000 of taxable property valuation to raise the $28.5 million. School district officials have estimated the actual levy will be $3.43. Find a sample of the ballot here.
When will I know the results of the election?
The Hardin County Auditor's Office will post results of the Hardin County vote after polls close on Tuesday night. (Find them here.) The Times Citizen will report complete results - from both counties - when they're available on Tuesday night. Watch timescitizen.com and the Times Citizen Facebook page for news of the results.