Letter-Cart before the horseAt first blush I, like many in the community, was pleased that the Hudson area had approved the purchase of the St. Croix Meadows site.
By: Brian Kunkel, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
At first blush I, like many in the community, was pleased that the Hudson area had approved the purchase of the St. Croix Meadows site. However, after discovering that the city of Hudson’s Plan Commission is skeptical of re-zoning the property, I have to ask, did the district and school board put the cart before the horse?
It strikes me as irresponsible for the district and board to ask the voters to spend $8 million when they are unable to convince the city to re-zone the property in question. The more I learn the more it appears that the district and board’s attitude was to ram this through and to figure out the details later. I guess the old saying is true: the devil is in the details.
While I voted for the purchase of the land, I did so with great reservation. Simply put, there is a substantial risk that the Hudson area will not approve a future referendum to allocate the necessary dollars to build on the property. In that case, the city and county are left with $1.2 million less in (future, potential) annual property taxes, and the district has spent $8 million of taxpayer dollars on a piece of vacant land.
Rather, the district and the board should have shown leadership and vision by outlining a clear vision for the property, secured an understanding with the city of Hudson and then, at the end, asked the taxpayers for the necessary dollars to purchase and build the school that the community needs. Instead the district and board do not have an agreement with the city of Hudson, don’t know what type of school will be built, don’t know if some of the land will be allocated to a city public works/public safety building and don’t know if they will get taxpayer approval for the money needed to build a new school. Knowing what I know now and learning how unprepared the district and board really are, I want my vote back.
Brian Kunkel, Hudson