There was a special Mount Pleasant Community School Board meeting on July 24th to discuss two important matters.
The first one, which many are aware of, is the decision to purchase property from Iowa Wesleyan and use it for the school district. There are three main properties that were discussed, and it seems at this moment as if two of them are available. The practice field just south of Maple Leaf and the Central Campus, including the parking lot, have had bids from the MPCSD. 1.25 million dollars is the purchase price for the two bids. The Central Campus includes Howe Student Activity Center and Ruble Arena, the Student Union, Old Main, Pioneer Hall, University Chapel, and the P.E.O Memorial Building.
An expert estimated that the gym, walking track, and offices alone would cost upwards of 15 million dollars. The board sees their long-term goal an believes this opportunity is “too good to pass up.”
Discussion was had over the Willis Wrestling Facility, however, a better offer from a different entity was accepted. Members of the school board deliberated on this subject, with one stating that they have no issue with adding a backup offer for the wrestling facility. A different member then chimed in saying “I don’t see it as a deal breaker” as they think the board should be more focused on the other two properties. The board decided to move forward with the practice field and central campus.
The other pressing issue was the discussion over the renewal of the Revenue Purpose Statement. The RPS governs how the one-cent sales tax can be spent by a school district. This is a statewide sales tax that is currently due to expire in 2049. The current MPCSD RPS expires in 2031, and there will now be a vote on September 12th, 2023, to renew this statement until 2049.
This is not an increase in taxes, rather it just allows the school district to spend this fund, typically around $2,000,000 a year, how they decide is best. The Revenue Purpose Statement will stay in effect until 2031 regardless of the outcome of the vote in the fall.
KILJ will continue to provide updates to this developing story and will keep Southeast Iowa informed.