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Support Both SSD Referendum Questions

In the 1970s it was decided to build a new Somerset High School on the DeCosse property that previously had been purchased for the outrageous price of $300 per acre. The Spring Street school, K 12, was very overcrowded.

Not all voters were sure a new school was needed, and many meetings were held. The cost was questioned, so the Board cut out insulation and half of some walls to reduce costs. Back then I was coaching HS football, and I personally remember seeing a student climb from the floor, to a bench, to the top of a locker, over the "wall" and into a "secure" storage area in seconds. We lost so many items that later the school district had to build the half walls up into full walls. The lack of insulation caused so much interference and distraction between classes that later the District had to add insulation. The cost cutting measures that had been taken ended up costing the District more money in the long run.

We are now facing a referendum to replace roofs and many internal units in this 45-year-old building. Past administrations put off major repairs due to lack of funds in the operational budget. The recession and lack of funding from the state caused further delays to the point where the District now is asking for a referendum to make repairs to all the buildings. Leaking roofs, worn out units, and other repairs have to be made. The operational budget increase will allow the District to maintain the three buildings in the coming years as well as maintain educational programs and small class sizes.

The second part of the referendum is asking for money for major projects fix and/or replace roofs on the Middle and Elementary schools, replace worn out units in the buildings, and other projects. Passing both will cost a home owner $62 per $100,000 of evaluation.

We are a growing community with many townhouses/duplexes and single residential units being built. Subdivision off Rivard Street looks to increase as the land has been cleared and the earth moving machines are ready to go. Preferred Builders, a major developer, already has sold many lots. Hartman Homes at Pine Cliff is expanding, too. With the Twin Cities being within 30 minutes, we will see more growth.

Our Somerset Public Library is on the verge of starting construction on a major improvement. That, along with our Somerset School Campus, will greatly enhance and be a source of pride for our growing community.

Without education there is no other career.

Vote YES to both referendum questions on April 2nd.


Harold Rivard

This is a paid endorsement letter to the editor.