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Ankeny School Board Votes on Land-Infrastructure Agreement with the City of Ankeny

In the agreement, the school district has agreed to convey land to the city of Ankeny in exchange for the completion of infrastructure needed for the district's tenth elementary school.

The Ankeny school board gave the green light to an agreement with the city of Ankeny that exchanges land for infrastructure cost.

The board voted 7-0 at its Monday night meeting to enter into the agreement with the city, in which the district agrees to convey 70 acres of land located along 36th Street west of State Street to the city in exchange for approximately $2.2 million of road and utility improvements needed in the construction of the district's next elementary school.

"We've entered into this agreement to give the city a piece of land that we don’t need and in exchange we get infrastructure that we don’t have to pay for, the community doesn’t have to pay for and we can take off the cost (of Elementary 10)," said school board president Pat Cahill. "It's important for the community to know we’re saving them money."

The city previously voted in favor of the agreement at a special Oct. 8 meeting. The land conveyed to the city is currently appraised at approximately $1.54 million and is adjacent to where the new elementary school is proposed to be built.

The estimated cost of infrastructure the city will receive in return is $2.7 million with approximately $500,000 abated through special assessments and water and sewer connection fees, the release said. The city has already factored the project into its Capital Improvements Program for calendar year 2014.

Jeff Krausman, attorney for the district, said this will allow the district to make necessary infrastructure improvements for which it would not have been able to bond.

"This agreement is a result of the decision-makers in the comm making the decision to work together," Krausman said. "We’ve had a history of doing in the past but hasn’t been as productive in the last three years."

The agreement will go into affect only if voters pass a proposed $15.9 million referendum needed to construct Elementary 10. Right now, the referendum is scheduled to be placed on a special February 2013 ballot provided the district gets enough signatures to do so.

Nathan Hofstadter December 18, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Jack, you completely wrong. The info is transparent, both on the school website and printed on a mailer, and has answered your question. Have you approached either the city council or school board members? Emailed them? Called them? Attended any meetings with your concerns?
Jack F December 18, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Nathan the information was only offered after the deals were done in secret. Just like the old days. Nothing has changed. I have been here over 30 years and I thought with the new sunshine laws our elected politicians would change their hidden meetings and have open debate before the decisions were made so citizens could watch the entire process not just the outcome. Nathan- keep your head in the sand.
Nathan Hofstadter December 22, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Jack, you didn't answer my question. How many meetings have you been to?
William December 22, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Nathan, I'm curious. Why the obsession with who attends board meetings and how many they have or have not attended? Are you implying only those taxpayers who attend school board meetings in person have the right to express their opinions here? Many folks follow the workings of the school board via information provided by the board on the ASCD website, press releases from the school district, and information provided in the media. In reviewing past board meeting minutes published on the district website, I don't see your name appearing anywhere on the list of attendees. Perhaps you don't sign in?
Nathan Hofstadter December 23, 2012 at 02:16 AM
William, it's easy. Many use past issues they never cared about until the issue of a bond was raised as an excuse to be against the bond. You know, kind of an excuse not to pay for a bond, albeit a hollow one. Unless they cared enough before to go to a meeting a voice their concerns over items like turf fields. So William, not really an obsession of mine, just pointing out that many never cared before, but as soon as someone says "bond"...............

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