Hermantown Chamber of Commerce backs $48 M school board referendum

By KBJR News 1

October 14, 2013 Updated Oct 14, 2013 at 6:43 PM CDT

Hermantown, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Hermantown Chamber of Commerce has unanimously voted in support of a 48 million dollar plan to improve the Hermantown School District.

The self–described fiscally conservative organization came to the decision after analyzing what the possible effects of not passing a referendum would be for the city.

Chamber Executive Director Mike Lundstrom says the organization takes the implications of raising taxes seriously, and is sensitive to the thought of possibly harming small businesses with a tax hike.

But Lundstrom says the school district's current condition has been a deterrent for prospective businesses, and spending millions in patchwork repairs will cost the city in the long run.

"With today's interest rates, [and] the way the community came together and put together a bare bones proposal—$10 million less than 2009—now is the time to make that decision, or it's going to cost us more in the future," said Lundstrom.

The proposed plan includes tearing down the current middle school, and re–locating it in the current high school.

The vote for the referendum will be held on November 5th.