Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

NORTH DAKOTA: Hatton and Northwood consolidation vote split

It was a split vote Tuesday night to consolidate the Hatton and Northwood, N.D., school districts. To pass, the measure needed a majority vote in both districts. Northwood overwhelmingly approved the consolidation measure by a vote of 355 to 14 (...

It was a split vote Tuesday night to consolidate the Hatton and Northwood, N.D., school districts.

To pass, the measure needed a majority vote in both districts.

Northwood overwhelmingly approved the consolidation measure by a vote of 355 to 14 (96 percent), while Hatton rejected the measure by a vote of 234 to 173 (57.5 percent).

Before Tuesday's vote, plans to combine the districts were unanimously approved by a planning committee of 50 members from both districts, both district's school boards, the Grand Forks and Trail County reorganization committee and the state Department of Public Instruction, but final approval was needed from the public.

"It's frustrating, disappointing. A lot of work was put into the consolidation plan. It'll take a while to digest (the split vote) for the communities," Paula Pederson, Northwood school superintendent, said. "Even Hatton said they worked hard on this.

ADVERTISEMENT

"As a board, we always believed Northwood would pass it overwhelmingly, and we thought Hatton would, too, until we saw articles in the Hatton newspaper earlier in the week with comments from opponents," Pederson said. "I wish they would've been at the meetings held for the last two years to voice their concerns and to get factual information."

Little opposition had been expressed at those meetings. Hatton stood to gain about 20 more class offerings with the reorganization, according to a presentation made by officials at a June 28 informational meeting that was attended by about 30 people in the Hatton school. At that meeting, some Hatton residents said they were concerned that they would wind up paying for Northwood's debt, but Don Piper, a consultant facilitating the proposed reorganization, said it was very unlikely that Hatton would pay Northwood's debt.

Northwood has significantly more debt than Hatton. Northwood expects to pay off its $1.7 million debt by 2024, while Hatton's debt of $440,000 will be paid off next year.

"We were doing this for the kids, for the communities, so where to go next, how to proceed, we'll have to do that cautiously," Pederson said.

The defeated plan proposed that starting in fall 2008, all students grades nine through 12 would attend school in Northwood, while seventh- and eighth-grade students would be in Hatton.

Hatton's superintendent, Kevin Rogers, was unavailable for comment afterthe vote Tuesday evening.

Decker can be reached at (701) 787-6754; (800) 477-6572, ext. 754; or cdecker@gfherald.com .

What To Read Next
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide free or discounted care, also known as charity care; yet eligibility and application requirements vary across hospitals. Could you qualify? We found out.
Crisis pregnancy centers received almost $3 million in taxpayer funds in 2022. Soon, sharing only medically accurate information could be a prerequisite for funding.
The Grand Forks Blue Zones Project, which hopes to make Grand Forks not just a healthier city but a closer community, is hosting an event on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Empire Arts Center from 3-5 p.m.
A bill being considered by the North Dakota Legislature would require infertility treatment for public employees — a step that could lead to requiring private insurance for the costly treatments.