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School district building referendums bear fruit

By Jan Basina

There’s a bit of good news looming on the horizon regarding school construction for 11 Wisconsin communities.

Voters last week went to the polls and approved school referendums in 11 communities that will eventually lead to construction opportunities, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Jefferson/High School Addition & Renovation

Green Bay/School District Capital Improvements

The most notable were in the Jefferson School District where citizens decided to spend $35.19 million on school improvements, and in the Green Bay Area School District students will benefit from the passage of an $11 million school referendum to help maintain, renovate and upgrade its school facilities.

But in other communities the news was not as encouraging. School referendums asking for funding for school construction failed in four districts. Most notable was the defeat of a $17.67 million school referendum in Johnson Creek, which asked citizens for funds to build a new junior/senior high school and an additional $2.398 million to construct an athletic facility.

Whether your opinion was “yea” or “nay” regarding the school referendums results, there’s another opportunity to cast a vote. But this time your effort might provide a Wisconsin community with a harvest of fresh fruit.

Now how sweet is that?

Middleton’s Bock Community Garden is in the running for a Fruit Tree Planting Foundation Grant. The grant would provide 20 fruit trees, an installed irrigation system and tree care training for volunteers. The organic apples, pears and plums would be available to the public and would also be donated to the Middleton Outreach Ministry food pantry as part of the garden’s “Plant A Row for the Hungry” program.

Voting runs through the end of April and you may vote once a day. The first five winners will be announced May 1. The Bock Community Garden is currently in sixth place and needs to get in the top five to receive a grant.

The top gardens will be selected on the number of votes received on the Web site.

The grants are given by The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation in collaboration with Edy’s Fruit Bars. FTPF is an international nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities and improve surrounding air, soil and water.

As Martha Stewart would say: “It’s a good thing.”

Jan Basina, who votes in favor of both school building referendums and fruit trees, is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter.

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