Referendum Information

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Previous Progress

In 2018, Southern Door County School District residents supported referendum questions that approved a comprehensive facilities plan, including operational and capital investments. Building improvements addressed safety and security, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, infrastructure, and renovated the open-concept elementary school into individual classrooms with flexible learning spaces. These projects were completed on time and within budget

Now, we would like to continue what we started to better position Southern Door as the “District of Choice,” as we continue to empower students to be Eagle Proud and Eagle Strong.

Financial Preparation

The Board has taken the opportunity to pre-pay debt, when possible, to save interest expenses. In addition, a loan that funded past building projects will soon be paid off. These actions will provide the Southern Door community with the opportunity to make designated facility upgrades with no property tax mill rate increase over the current level. Our goal for many years has been to address identified facility needs in distinct project phases to make this project affordable for district taxpayers. 

Gathering Community & Staff Feedback

The Board of Education and District leaders analyzed options to address Southern Door’s needs, and then asked our community to provide feedback on our facility needs through a community-wide survey in summer of 2022. We wanted to ensure that our proposed solution reflected the needs of our students and the priorities of our taxpayers. Results of the survey can be found here. All community feedback was instrumental in shaping the referendum plan that the Southern Door County School District Board of Education unanimously supported at their August 15, 2022 meeting. 

On November 8, 2022

On November 8, 2022, residents of the Southern Door County School District will have the opportunity to vote on two referendum questions that address operation and facility needs: 

QUESTION 1 asks for authorization to exceed the revenue limit by $975,000 for three years, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year and ending with the 2025-2026 school year, to maintain programs, services, and staffing. 

- Renews existing operational referendum 
- Supports curriculum resources 
- Provides professional development 
- Helps attract and retain high quality staff

QUESTION 2 asks for authorization to borrow up to $14.9 million to fund a school facility improvement project consisting of: 

- Educational classroom improvements (Art, Agricultural Science, Family and Consumer Science, Technical Education) 
- Construction of an indoor multipurpose training facility 
- Relocation of district office to increase parking capacity 
- Updates to aging septic system 
- Construction of a bus garage

overhead view of district buildings with new construction and areas of remodel refreshes noted
As we look to the future, one of the most significant challenges facing Southern Door is the lack of predictable, sustainable funding for rural school districts like ours. As of today, Southern Door continues to be one of the lowest funded schools in the county. As seen in the chart below, all Door County school districts have secured an operational referendum.

Operational Referendum Renewal

In 2018, Southern Door residents approved an operational referendum to maintain programs, services, and class sizes. In 2020, this referendum was renewed. Next year, the funding from the referendum will expire. Also, the District has not received any additional state funding on a per-student basis. Therefore, the Board of Education is asking voters to consider renewing the referendum at the same amount ($975,000) for the next three years.
bar graph showing operational referenda in Door County Schools

Mill Rate Impact

If approved, the $975,000 operational referendum and the $14.9 million facility referendum would NOT INCREASE the property tax mill rate over the current levels.

In preparation for facilities updates, the Board has taken the opportunity to prepay debt, when possible, to save on interest expenses. The loan that funded past building projects will soon be paid off, creating an opportunity to invest with no property tax mill rate increase over current levels.

bar graph showing Southern Door's mill rate

Questions? Comments? 
If you have questions or comments you can contact Superintendent Christopher Peterson at (920) 825-7311 or [email protected].