Ely Independent School District 696 is proposing a one question referendum for facility improvements for Ely's district facilities.<BR><BR>The district is planning a one question referendum on March 29 2011 for the replacement of the 90+ year old heating (steam) system with a new hot water system, and associated improvements associated with demolition and patching required for the replacement. The total cost of the school building project is estimated at $3,030,000. The project will be financed by the sale of two series of 20-year general obligation bonds for $2,810,000 under the Qualified Energy Conservation Bond Program and $220,000 and General Obligation School Building Bonds pending voter approval. The school board believes that the project is in the best interest of the school district.<BR><BR>If the bond referendum is successful and bonds are sold, the debt service on the bonds will be eligible for debt service equalization under Minn. Stat. &#167; 123B.53, subd. 3, if the bond schedule is approved. The amount of debt service equalization aid, if any that the district receives is determined annually and is dependent upon property wealth, student population, and other statutory requirements.<BR><BR>REVIEW AND COMMENT STATEMENT Based upon the Department's analysis of the school district's required documentation and other pertinent information from sources of the Department of Education, the Commissioner of Education judges the proposed construction to be educationally and economically advisable.<BR><BR>ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE Persons desiring additional information regarding this proposal should contact the school district superintendent's office.<BR><BR> <BR><BR>/S/ Brenda Cassellius, Ed.D. Commissioner<BR><BR>January 26, 2011