KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Petition Circulates As Bond Vote Draws Near



Bookmark and Share

On Tuesday, residents of the Tea Area School District will be voting on a $10.5 million bond that would pay for an expansion of the school district. But as the vote gets closer, a controversial petition has started circling to dissolve the district.

You could say the Tea Area School District is feeling some growing pains. But while growing is good, for the district, it’s becoming more controversial.
         
Jolene Loetscher is a resident of the Westwood Valley neighborhood.  Even though she doesn't have children, Loetscher sees the need for the district to expand.

“This is the best thing for our neighborhood, and for all the kids in the Tea Area School District, for all of the kids in Sioux Falls, this is the best thing,” Loetscher said.

But there's an issue that lies with this land, where the district is proposing to build a new elementary school.

In September, an $11 million bond that would help build the new school, and add other expansions to the district failed by just 31 votes.  Four weeks later, the Tea School Board approved a new $10.5 million bond. But with the new bond came a petition and it’s who is backing the petition that's raising some red flags.
     
“We know that there are land developers that have financial affiliation and those who vocally oppose this school who have financial connections and family connections to Westwood Valley,” Loetscher explained.
 
One of those people is Chad Zortman. Zortman's wife is related to Rick Dunlap, a developer who owns the land surrounding where the school will be built. Loetscher said Dunlap has said in the past, that he wants to sell the land to the Sioux Falls School District, but it lies in the Tea Area School District.  If the district were to dissolve, Loetscher said Dunlap would be able to sell the land.
 
But Zortman said that's not why he's backing the petition.

Zortman said, "I'm not doing this for financial gain. I am doing this because I want to become a part of the Sioux Falls School District."

Zortman said he believes if this second bond were to fail as well, the district will keep pursuing bonds to get the school built. He said district leaders should focus on the current needs of existing buildings, especially the elementary school, where kids are in temporary buildings.

 "I feel bad for those kids, but you know what, take care of those kids first, then look at build a school up here OK," Zortman said.

Loetscher said the only controversial topic of the bond should be what's best for kids.

"This isn't about finances, this is about helping kids and our future," Loetscher said.

We tried to contact Rick Dunlap, but none of our phone calls have been returned.

Fifteen percent of the registered voters in the school district need to sign the petition in order for it to be put to a public vote.
     
 
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

AG: Sisseton Killings Result Of Dom. Violence

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a shooting on the Lake Traverse ...

Obama: Keystone Offers Little Benefit To Consumers

President Barack Obama downplayed the benefits of building ...

Ice Rinks Closed In SF

The City of Sioux Falls says due to recent warm temperatures, all six Sioux Falls outdoor ...

SF Teen Faces Kidnapping, Assault Charges   Dec. 19

Prepackaged Caramel Apples Linked To 2 MN Deaths  Dec. 19

NorthWestern Energy Seeking To Raise Rates In 2015  Dec. 19

Gas Prices Fall Below $2 Per Gallon In SF  Dec. 19

Hackers Gloat Over 'The Interview' Cancellation In New Email  Dec. 19

Minnesota Firm Buys Second Storm Lake Wind Farm  Dec. 19

KSMI Students Stop By KDLT News Today  story with video  Dec. 19

O'Gorman Students Help Moms In Need  Dec. 19

Bob Seger Bringing Tour To Sioux Falls  Dec. 19

Pierre Woman Facing 8 Charges After Crash  Dec. 19

SD Supreme Court Backs Lower Court In Abuse Case  Dec. 19

Rapid City Man Found Dead Under Bridge  Dec. 19

SF Police Probe Motel Robbery  Dec. 19

Sioux Falls Stampede Honor Longtime Fan  story with video  Dec. 19

Vigil Held To Remember Dalton Williams  story with video  Dec. 18

Gas Prices Plummeting In Sioux Falls  story with video  Dec. 18

Massage Therapist Reacts To Prostitution Arrest  story with video  Dec. 18

KDLT News Archive
     

Massage Therapist Reacts To Prostitution Arrest  story with video

It was a little over a week ago that an employee at ...

Sioux Falls Stampede Honor Longtime Fan  story with video

Over the years, Max Honke has collected a drawer full of ...

SFPD Looking For Casino Robbery Suspects

Sioux Falls Police have released pictures of two ...

Teen Allegedly Holds Girlfriend Against Her Will  Dec. 18

Vigil Held To Remember Dalton Williams  story with video  Dec. 18

Grain Elevator Collapses In Egan  Dec. 18

SDN To Buy Sioux Valley Wireless  Dec. 18

Body Shops Around Sioux Falls Are Backed Up  Dec. 18

KDLT News Archive
     

USD Women set school record for points  story with video

VERMILLION, S. D. – The South Dakota women's ...

Balanced attack leads SDSU over Arkansas/Little Rock  story with video

BROOKINGS, S. D. —Freshman Ellie Thompson (Chaska, Minn ...

Marshall, Jacks win in OT

LOGAN, Utah – George Marshall scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his ...

Bos hits game-winner for Coyotes  story with video  Dec. 18

Weber enjoying first job as a head coach  Dec. 18

Johnston knows tough schedule will help  story with video  Dec. 18

St. Pierre gets 3rd All-American award  story with video  Dec. 18

Nagy excited to have Marshall  story with video  Dec. 18

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top