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Keokuk schools look to clear up ballot confusion

KEOKUK (WGEM) — Officials from the Keokuk, Iowa, school district said they’ve been getting a number of calls about a ballot issue to be decided next week.

Election officials said the district is asking voters to approve what’s called a revenue purpose statement.

Lee County Auditor Denise Fraise said the 86 lines of explanation following Keokuk Public Schools Measure MX can be boiled down to just one.

“The money they get from the state, they have to say how they’re going to use it,” she said.

She said it’s something all Iowa schools will have to get around to eventually.

“It looks like Keokuk is just getting on the ball early,” Fraise said.

She said there’s a reason behind the confusing wording.

“If it’s not specifically on the ballot they’re not allowed to,” Fraise said. “That’s why the wording is so long, because it has to encompass every thing they would like to do.”

Keokuk Public school officials say they’ve got a number of uses for the money.

“Technology, building and grounds, public improvements, construction, new construction, and transportation so like buses, vehicles for our fleet,” KPS business manager Heidi Harness said.

Harness said they’ve got a lot to spend.

“For this year the amount we got was $1,059 per student on our certified enrollment which for us equates to just under $2 million we can spend,” she said.

Harness said if you’re still confused when you go to cast your vote next Tuesday, just remember this:

“The revenue purpose statement is nothing that imposes any type of property tax increase or anything like that,” she said. “It’s just literally just a statement saying what we can spend the funds on.”

The city of Donnellson has a similar measure on their ballot, a local option sales tax statement.

Fraise says right now the city is using their money for property tax relief, library services, parks services, social programs and city hall maintenance.

Fraise said they’re looking to change that to property tax relief and library services.

You can find the sample ballot for your town below:

KEOKUK

 

FORT MADISON

 

MONTROSE

If you are on the WGEM Mobile app and cannot see any of the ballots, click here.

Blake Sammann

Blake Sammann is a reporter and weekend anchor at WGEM News.

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