EDEN VALLEY -- Voters in the Eden Valley-Watkins School District will be asked to vote Tuesday on a $12-million dollar question. The vote will decide whether or not the district can make district-wide improvements and better maintain existing facilities.

Superintendent Mark Messman says community members are pressing the issue.

"We've had a lot of community inquiries and questions and ongoing surveys. That have really pressed us to move forward on the safety and security concerns throughout the district."

Messman adds that a community-based task force actually wanted to spend more money.

"They identified a lot of items they wanted addressed. Then that went to the board to be narrowed down, the task force actually wanted $26,000,000 in improvements. The school board then took that and identified four main concepts with a estimated cost of $12,000,000."

The district estimates the impact on your property taxes over the 19.5-year bond life to be:

  • Residential properties around $150,000 -- $124/year
  • Commercial properties around $250,000 -- $418/year
  • Ag Land (Non-Homestead) -- $3.94/acre per year
  • Ag Land + Homestead -- $346/year

One of the district's top priorities is major infrastructure upgrades to the high school, especially in the original high school built in 1927. Some of the other specifics are adding athletic fields and facilities and secure entries at the elementary schools.

Polls will be open from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Eden Valley-Watkins High School and at Watkins Elementary.