Jamestown  (CSi)  On Tues Sept 24 Jamestown Public School District voters will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed increase of the building fund levy authority from 10 to 20 mills, to update existing facilities.    Listen to interview with Supt Lech from The Wayne Byers Show.  Also posted at Facebook.com/   Like & Share

The polls will be open at Jamestown Middle School’s Community Room from 7-a.m. to 7-p.m.

All Jamestown Public School District patrons, urban and rural are eligible to vote.

To pass, the “yes” votes must be 60-percent of the total votes cast.

Absentee ballots are available at the School District, Office, at 207 Second Avenue, Southeast through Monday September 23, from 7-a.m. to 4-p.m.


On Wednesday’s Wayne Byers Show on CSi Cable 2, Jamestown Public Schools, Superintendent Robert Lech said, if the referendum was successful, the maximum impact of the levy authority for an additional 10 mills on a $100,000 home would provide a tax impact of $45 annually or $3.75 per month. This levy would be approved annually by the school board and the number of mills levied would be dependent upon facility needs in that tax year.


He pointed out that the school district pursued referendums in 2015 and 2018 to update and enhance aging facilities. In both instances, the community said that this was not the right plan at the right time.  The last referendum included school building additions.  However Lech stressed that this time voters will either approve or disapprove, needed infrastructure improvements, only.

As a result,  Lech said, “We have explored different opportunities to address our biggest concerns and believe the best remaining option exists with increasing our building fund. The JPS school board, on July 24, approved a special election on September 24, 2019 for the public to consider increasing building fund levy authority from 10 to 20 mills.”   The levy will be revisited annually.

He said, currently, the district’s building fund allows Jamestown Public Schools, to levy for 10 mills only to support our facilities as governed by the North Dakota Century Code.

He added, expansion of the building fund has been determined to be the most effective opportunity to address immediate issues, while also being a flexible option for any future facility planning to address long-term facility needs.

A Capital Projects Plan (CPP) was approved by the school board in 2016. The CPP outlined an average of $2.16 million per year in facility needs over a 10-year span across seven schedules: 1) Asbestos Abatement, 2) Building Repairs, 3) Sites, 4) Roofs, 5) ADA Remodeling, 6) Security and Safety, and 7) Equipment. $1.3 million, or 60%, of this annual $2.16 million in needs is attributed to Building Repairs. Similarly, the Roof schedule equates to an average annual cost of $560,000, or 26%, of these expenses.

He added that with the existing levy providing about $700,000 annually, the district is woefully short of the average annual costs to adequately update these facilities.

Lech said, that it is important to note that the district has been utilizing the existing levy beyond its maximum capacity. Since the approval of the CPP, the district has expended an average of $820,090 annually through the building fund with the vast majority of these expenses directly tied to the Capital Projects Plan. This average expense outpaces revenue from the building fund’s 10 mills and has resulted in spending down the interim balance of the building fund. While these projects have been necessary, spending more than we receive in revenue is not a sustainable model.

Any questions on the referendum, may be directed to Dr. Rob Lech at 252-1950, Robert.Lech@k12.nd.us, or make an appointment at Central Office for a visit.  The information is also at the school district’s Facebook Page, with daily summaries.