When I first read that the Winner School District was considering giving the City of Winner SD the recently paid-for and more recently vacated Middle School for $1, I almost found it unbelievable. Rural taxpayers paid for something in the neighborhood of 80% of that building and the City taxpayers something in the neighborhood of 20% of the $2 million or so it cost. Some rural resident taxpayers consider this an insulting slap in the face.
Anyway, in the Winner Advocate this evening is a letter to the editor by Chuck Noble. I have gotten permission from him to put it in here at Dakota Today. He took a perspective I had not thought of and made a persuasive case for the school district to maintain management and ownership of the building. The text is below. Please note, it was scanned for optical character recognition. Any errors are mine and my scanner's:
LETTER TO EDITOR: Property Management of Winner Middle School and Auditorium/Gymnasium
(#1) I'm providing the following property management information as a part owner besides other tax-paying owners. This property is located 1 block from Main Street and 1 block from Highway 18.
(#2) The Middle School has approximately 30,000 sq.feet and the Auditorium/Gym has approximately 12,000 square feet. The property valuation is based upon $150 per square foot for insurance replacement value purposes. This amounts to $4.5 million for the Middle School and $1.8 million for the Auditorium/Gym. There is no bond debt.
(#3) There are leases for 5,580 sq feet for $34,500 total for these leases per year. The lease rate for these leases averages $6.18 per square foot per year.
(#4) The Auditorium/Gym is used 5 days per week. The equivalent
lease amount for the Auditorium/Gym is $74,160 ($6.18 x 12,000 sq feet) per year. The cost of a new facility would exceed this current valuation.
(#5) The utility expense for 2013 was approximately $66,000 for the Middle School and the Auditorium/Gymnasium.
(#6) State and federal government agencies have approximately 8,000 sq ft leased in Winner. One property is leased at $7.70 per square foot per year including utilities. Another property is leased at $12.15 per sq.ft. per year including utilities and custodial services. There is thus potential for new leases that would integrate multiple agencies at the Middle School.
(#7) There may also be potential for leases with Tripp County or other agencies.
(#8) Advertising outside the local area should be accomplished.
(#9) This property is valuable. There is no compelling: reason to change the status of the ownership of the Middle School and Auditorium/Gym since we are already getting more value than the cost of ownership.
Chuck Noble 31878 270th Street Winner, SD 57580. 605-842-1452
1 City of Winner Finance Officer
2 Winner School District Business Manager
3 State of South Dakota Department of Fiscal Management
4 SDSU Extension Service, Winner, South Dakota
5 Tripp County Director of Assessments
6 State of South Dakota Office of USDA NRCS Agency
Download a better formatted PDF file of the above letter. Download Letter to Editor Winner Advocate 9.24.2014
**** Stay tuned. The same paper has a bunch of dribble and a half-page ad supporting the XL Pipeline folly--- Doug Wiken