Cedar Falls bond referendum debate still polarized - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls bond referendum debate still polarized

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -  As a second Cedar Falls schools bond referendum draws closer,  both sides remain polarized,

The school district has really scaled back the dollar amount, asking for $35 million this time, compared to $118 million back in September.

This time, supporters  are focusing specifically on two elementary schools in  need renovations and additions, dropping plans for a new high school for now.

The two schools are Orchard Hill and North Cedar Elementary schools, and a new elementary school is also part of the new plan.

Approval requires a super majority vote (60%) for passage on June 30.

Both sides of the ticket seem to want the same thing, they want better accommodations for the students, but its how the accommodations will be paid for that's putting everyone at odds.

Supporters of the bond are pulling out all the stops, even putting commercials on TV.

After a major loss in September in 2014, they're hoping the scaled back asking price will convince more voters to vote yes.

Supporters believe if the problems the schools are facing such as overcrowding aren't fixed soon, they'll just get worse, and they'll drive people away from the community.

"If people stop coming to a community, then that's fewer people buying homes and that could cause a lowering of property values in the community," said Cedar Falls Proud treasurer Dave Deaver.

He says it's a situation that needs to be fixed now and not be ignored, because then it'll just cost more in the long run.

On the opposition, many people agree Orchard Hill is overcrowded.

They say they want revisions to the schools, but just not by the methods presented.

"There are so many revenue streams the schools has to do this incrementally," said Larry Wyckoff, who is opposed to the referendum. 

He fears the increased taxes will push current residents out of their homes, and hopes voters will follow suit with September's "no" vote.

The project will cost roughly $38 million to complete, with $35 million coming from taxpayers and $3 million coming from the one cent sales tax.

A detailed outline of the proposed plan along with floor plans can be found here.

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