New funding for new Moose Lake School

By KBJR News 1

May 19, 2014 Updated May 19, 2014 at 9:56 PM CDT

Moose Lake, MN (NNCNOW.com) ---Legislative changes to Minnesota's program to equalize debt service could go a long way in funding a new school for the Moose Lake School District.

The changes will help any school that experienced over $500,000 dollars in damages from a natural disaster.

The Superintendent of the Moose Lake School says the legislation will triple the equalization dollars that normally goes to schools.

The district's K thru 12th grade facility sustained significant damage during the 2012 flood.

Several referendums to raise funds for a new school were voted down by residents who argued the small property tax base couldn't support a new school.

To help districts like Moose Lake, state lawmakers passed legislation to increase state aid for districts hit with natural disasters.

Superintendent Bob Indihar believes if everything falls into place it will bring in between $20-27 million to build a new school over the life of a 20 year bond.

"The citizens of this community support the school, but they really struggle with the tax impact, and this is a good long-term answer for that big tax impact that we would have had," said Indihar.

Moose Lake leaders say the community will be heavily involved in the process.

School officials say the next step is to work with the community to pass a referendum to fund its share of the cost for a new school.

The state's natural disaster debt service aid would help reduce the anticipated increase in local property taxes.

Elsa Robins