News
Decision day approaches with August 9 bond referendum

By Joseph Back

It’s a day long in the making. On Tuesday August 9, South Washington County voters will decide whether to fund or not fund the district’s long-range facilities plan as currently laid out at www.sowashco.org/faciltiyplanning. The proposed bond amount is $462.66 million Polls open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday August 9, later closing at 4:30 p.m. the same day.

Voting yes on the bond referendum will mean a property tax increase—the ballot is clear to point this out. Voting ‘no’ in sufficient numbers to defeat the same would send the plan back for revision and review, with the earliest a new plan might come before voters being February 2023. The district has stated its case, predicting an increase of $305 in property taxes for an average homeowner— defined as someone owning a $300,000 home.

In turn a homeowner with a property valued at $200,000 can expect to pay an extra $191 annually, with a $250,000 property seeing a $248 annual property tax increase should the referendum pass. Skipping over the $300,000 mark as already covered, a property valued at $350,000 can expect to see $363 more in annual property taxes, while a

See REFERENDUM Page 2

Above, Highway 61 as seen from the pedestrian footbridge towards 5 p.m. on Friday July 29, just north of the Glen Road exit. This August 9, voters will go to the polls to decide on a proposed $462.66 million bond referendum on South Washington County Schools. Photo by Joseph Back. REFERENDUM

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$400,000 property will see $420 more in annual property taxes, while owners of a $500,000 home can expect to see $527 in additional yearly taxes.

In exchange—if the referendum passes— Crestview will see a new campus at a centralized location, Pine Hill Elementary will see a new building on its present site, Newport Elementary will be turned into an early learning center, and numerous additional projects will be financed in the district as well, with details at www.sowashco. org/facilityplanning.

As to voting, this is what residents need to know.

In the first place, you must be eligible. Eligibility includes the following:

• Being “at least” 18 years old on Election Day

• Being a citizen of the United States.

•Having resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day

•Have any felony conviction record discharged, expired, or completed

•Not be under court-ordered guardianship in which a court has revoked your voting rights.

• Not have been ruled legally incompetent in an court of law As to establishing the above, ID will be needed. Acceptable IDs can range from a drivers license to a home utility bill, as well as a piece of mail received in the last 30 days.

With polls now open for absentee ballots and Tuesday August 9 the official poll day, voters can contact the Washington County Elections Office at 651-430-6790 for information on having a ballot mailed to them or to apply for an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots will be accepted at the following locations from Monday to Friday 8 a.m .to 4:30 p.m., Saturday August 6 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Monday, August 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m:

•Washington County Government Center at 14949 62nd Street South in Stillwater

• The Cottage Grove Service Center at 13000 Ravine Parkway South in Cottage Grove

• The Washington County offices located at Central Park in Woodbury

• Oakdale City Hall 1584 Hadley Avenue North in Oakdale, and

• The Headwaters Service Center at 19955 Forest Road North in Forest Lake The above locations are for ABSENTEE ballots. As to the August 9 primary itself, voting locations are much broader.

As to voting locations on August 9, Afton residents can head on over to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church at 14107 Hudson Road South in Afton.

Cottage Grove residents and others, meanwhile, might have several polling locations, one of which is assigned to them based on precinct or ward. Those unsure of where they should vote can use the poll finder on the Minnesota Secretary of State Website at https:// pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us to find where to cast their ballot Tuesday August 9. Taken in general terms, these are come possible locations in each community: Afton

• Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church at 14107 Hudson Road South, Afton Cottage Grove

• Park Senior High School Athletic Center at 8040 80th Street South, Cottage Grove

• Cottage Grove Middle School at 9775 Indian Boulevard South, Cottage Grove

• Crestview Elementary School at 7830 80th Street South, Cottage Grove

• District 833 Service Center at 7362 East Point Douglas Road, Cottage Grove

• Washington County Service Center at 13000 Ravine Parkway South, Cottage Grove

• The National Guard Armory at 8180 Belden Boulevard South, Cottage Grove

• Pine Hill Elementary School at 9015 Hadley Avenue South, Cottage Grove Denmark

• Denmark Town Hall at 14008 90th Street South, Hastings Grey Cloud Island Township

• Grey Cloud Island Township Hall at 9910 Grey Cloud Island Drive South, St. Park Park Lakeland

• Lakeland City Hall at 690 Quinnell Avenue North, Lakeland Lakeland Shores

• St. Croix Embrace Church 16600 7th Street South, Lakeland Newport

• Newport Elementary School at 851 6th Avenue, Newport St. Mary’s Point

• St. Mary’s Point City Hall at 16491 St. Mary’s Point Drive, St. Mary’s Point St. Paul Park

• St. Paul Park Council Chambers at 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park

• St. Paul Park Deforth Community Room at 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park

• Heritage Park Building at 1345 Laurel Avenue, St. Paul Park Woodbury

• Woodbury Baptist Church at 6695 Upper Afton Road, Woodbury

• Woodbury City Hall at 8301 Valley Creek Road, Woodbury

• Woodbury High School at 2665 Woodlane Drive, Woodbury

• Woodbury Lutheran Church at 7380 Afton Road, Woodbury

• New Life Church at 6758 Bailey Road, Woodbury • Bailey Elementary School at 4125 Woodlane Dr., Woodbury

• King of Kings Lutheran Church at 1583 Radio Drive, Woodbury

• St. John Lutheran Church at 1975 St. John’s Dr., Woodbury

• Brookview Elementary at 11099 Brookview Road, Woodbury

• Central Park at 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury • Lake Middle School at 3133 Pioneer Drive, Woodbury

•Valley Crossing Elementary School at 9900 Park Crossing, Woodbury

• Liberty Ridge Elementary School at 11395 Eagle View Boulevard, Woodbury

• Five Oaks Community Church at 4416 Radio Drive, Woodbury

• East Ridge High School at 4200 Pioneer Drive, Woodbury

• St. Ambrose of Woodbury at 4125 Woodbury Drive, Woodbury Once again, should you be unsure of just where you are to vote based on precinct or city ward, just head on over to https:// pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/ for an address check.

Polls open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday August 9. With the school bond referendum for those communities served by ISD 833, as well as several primary races on the line, polls close at Tuesday August 9 at 4:30 p.m.

August 3, 2022