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WFSD bond referendum: Voting booths open this week

The future of the West Fargo School District now is in the voters' hands.

A special election is being held Tuesday, March 23, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., for the public to decide the fate of a proposed $40 million school building bond referendum.

If approved, the money generated from the referendum would provide funding for various construction projects that would help alleviate over crowdedness in the district. Officials project the district could have up to 1,800 more students by 2014.

Of these projects, a new

$10 million south-side elementary school would be erected by the fall of 2011. The remaining $30 million would go toward the construction of a new high school next to the existing Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center, which would be converted to a middle school. The high school is slated to open in 2012.

Other construction plans also include renovating the current West Fargo High School, and adding middle school physical education and athletic fields.

In order to pass, the bond referendum must gather a 60 percent super majority. West Fargo officials are hoping the $40 million price tag will increase "yes" votes, as it is nearly $25 million dollars less than last year's failed referendum.

The failed vote only drew 21 percent of eligible voters, of which 51 percent approved the bond.

Anyone of legal voting age living within the West Fargo School District boundaries is eligible to vote. Because of electronic registration at each precinct, voters can got to any number of locations in the West Fargo area, including: Harwood Community Center, Westside Elementary School, Veterans Memorial Arena, Horace Senior Center and Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center. To check for eligibility, voters can view a precinct map online at

Absentee voting for can be completed at the Leidal Education Center, 207 West Main Ave. in West Fargo. Voting absentee is a two-step process. First, an absent voter's ballot application needs to be completed. Once completed and signed, the voter will be provided a ballot to complete and return in a sealed envelope.

Absentee ballots must be received by 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 22. If there are any questions about voting absentee, call the district office at 356-2000.

With the tax increase from the passed referendum, a market-value property of $100,000 would generate an addition $77 in taxes. Likewise, a $200,000 property would gather $154, while $300,000 would be $231.

The vote is a simple, one-question ballot. If the bond referendum fails to get the required number of votes, the West Fargo School District can not hold another vote asking a similar question for 12 months.

For any questions pertaining to the West Fargo school building referendum, visit the West Fargo Public School's Web site at