Cedar Rapids wants to repair schools with higher property taxes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids wants to repair schools with higher property taxes

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Franklin Middle School is an old building with architecture you just don't see anymore. But the bricks of the 91-year-old school need repair.

"If we continue to do non-maintenance on the outside of our buildings, it affects the inside of our buildings through plaster work or additional repair work we'd have to do inside," said Rob Kleinsmith, building and grounds manager for the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Throughout the district, buildings need help. Several roofs need to be fixed.

But projects require money, and the district says they're short on that.

"We're working on deficit each year, and every year that goes by, that continues to build against the non-maintenance we're doing in our buildings," said Kleinsmith.

On Monday, the school board decided to ask voters for more money -- which would mean higher property taxes.

In September, voters said no to the proposal, though less than 5 percent of voters showed up and the highest turnout was from older people.

We caught up with some seniors. One woman told us she voted in September and she's always against raising property taxes, saying people just can't afford it.

Last fall, parents told KWWL they didn't know there had been an election. The district hopes to change that this time around.

"We have the need," said Kleinsmith. "We just have to be able to show it."

A group of people will help get the word out hoping more will vote "yes."

Voters are being asked to double the district's Physical Plant and Equipment Levy rate.

The special election will be held Sept. 9.
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