Gladbrook Reinbeck dissolution map -- ONLINE

REINBECK -- Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community Schools will remain intact after a proposal on the ballot Tuesday to dissolve the district was defeated.

A total of 1,545 votes were cast against dissolution, or 69.13 percent. Those voting in favor of the plan totaled 690.

If the plan had been approved by a simple majority of voters, it would have meant the permanent end of Gladbrook-Reinbeck Schools.

"I'm very pleased," said David Hill, the district's superintendent, that the proposal was defeated.

"Since Day 1 as the superintendent here, I've been overwhelmed by the support this school district receives from all communities," he added. "People are passionate about being G-R Rebels."

He called the result an "overwhelming endorsement of the good work Gladbrook-Reinbeck is doing."

The proposal was created by a citizens' commission that Gladbrook-Reinbeck's Board of Education formed, as required under the law, after residents submitted a petition to dissolve the district. It laid out plans to divide Gladbrook-Reinbeck between five neighboring school districts.

The issue first emerged in May 2015, not long after the board voted 5-2 to close Gladbrook's elementary and middle school building as part of a budget-cutting effort. The move consolidated all kindergarten through 12th-grade classes in Reinbeck.

Hill said he was concerned about "possible confusion" by voters as they learned about the proposal and looked at the ballot language at polls on election day. "But I think we did a good job getting our message out so the people knew what a 'yes' vote meant and what a 'no' vote meant," he said.

Ballot measures included in the school board elections for several other districts across the region were all approved.

In the Dunkerton Community School District, voters favored a $6 million bond issue referendum 267-53, an 83.44 percent rate of approval. At least 60 percent had to vote in favor for passage.

The funds will allow the district to demolish the three-story 1921 portion of its school and replace it with a two-story 24,000-square-foot addition. It would also pay for remodeling in an existing elementary wing. The property tax rate to repay the bonds will be $2.75 per $1,000 of taxable value, which is unchanged from a current levy for earlier building improvements.

In Union Community Schools, a physical plant and equipment levy was approved 434-204, or 68.03 percent of voters in favor. This will be the first time Union has had a PPEL, which can be set as high as $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable value by the Board of Education. The revenues can be used for school infrastructure and equipment repairs, purchases, and improvements.

In Turkey Valley Community Schools, two ballot measures were approved.

One was for a PPEL increasing property taxes up to 67 cents per $1,000 of taxable value. Voters favored that 72-9. The other was a proposal to change the method of school board elections from five single-member director districts to two at-large directors and three single-member districts elected by the entire school district. That measure passed 59-22.

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Staff Writer

Education reporter for the Courier

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