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Riverdale school district brings operating referendum to local voter
Riverdale School District

MUSCODA - Empowering and engaging students to succeed in today’s ever changing world is what the Riverdale School District is all about. However, in order to meet its mission, the district is asking residents for help.

Voters approved a non-recurring 5-year, $600,000 operating referendum in 2017, which expires with the December 2021 tax bills. On the April 6, 2021 ballot, Riverdale Board of Education is asking for voter approval to continue the funding through an operating referendum. If approved, it would go into effect with the December 2022 tax bill.

Riverdale Superintendent Jonathan Schmidt said the money is needed to maintain educational programming, add new learning spaces, and complete improvements and repairs at the Riverdale Junior/Senior High School.

Schmidt said that the money from the 2017 referendum has helped the district improve student achievement and outcomes by maintaining existing staff and programs. The money also allowed the district to address other needed expenses, such as replenishing an aging fleet of buses. 

If the April referendum is approved, for the first five years the district plans to use $385,000 of the $700,000 operating revenue to address projected annual budget shortfalls by balancing the budget, maintaining current staff and programming and focus on sustaining positive student outcomes. The balance of the funds, $315,000 per year, will pay off debt incurred by building repairs and renovations.

If approved, planned building repairs include adding a modernized agricultural classroom and renovating the existing art room; and providing a dedicated Junior High wing with a common area for small and large group collaboration to meet individual student needs.

Building repairs include renovating the front entrance to enhance security; improving ventilation systems in the tech education center; adding and renovating existing restrooms to accommodate students and assure ADA compliance; and completing site work for the addition and building renovations.

Passing the April referendum will allow the district to move forward quickly with its building plans, Schmidt said. 

“School building projects state-wide are benefiting from historical low interest rates. We could take advantage of lower interest rates if the referendum is approved, which is good for the district and its taxpayers,” said Schmidt.

If approved, the April referendum would mean that a taxpayer with a home valued at $100,000 would pay an additional $27 a year for 2022. By 2023, the tax impact would fall to $18 a year. Because district officials have worked to keep the mill rate low, the tax impact of the April referendum would still be below historical tax rates. 

For more information, visit the district website or contact Mr.Schmidt at or (608) 739-3832.