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April 2012 • Vol. 17, No. 4

School Bond Issue: What’s next?

By Renae Hoff man Walker Easing into Exporting

On March 12, the Bismarck School Board reduced the scope of a proposed bond issue for new schools to lower the price tag for taxpayers.

The $81 million bond issue will now include two new elementary schools (one in Lincoln; one in NW Bismarck) and a new high school (site to be determined), but no new middle school or middle school addition to Horizon at this time. The estimated cost per $100,000 of property in Bismarck would be $67.18 per year or $5.59 per month.

The board felt it could delay action on middle school space for about ive years when middle schools are pro- jected to reach 95 percent capacity and some existing bond issues fall off the tax rolls.

The consultants, who also reviewed

all existing public schools in Bismarck, had recommended that the School Board put some money into the bond issue to address equity improve- ments needed in the district related to accessibility, life-safety and renova- tions to accommodate programs. The board asked for more information and

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Pulling the Shots page 3

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, right, participates in a trade meeting on behalf of the states largest industry - agriculture.

By Jackie Nye, Clearwater Communi- cations

The connectivity of the global market is making it easier for small businesses to begin exporting not only out of the state, but also out of the country. Although the oil boom has been given most of the credit for North Dakota’s economic success, it is not the only rea- son the state is leading the nation with a budget surplus and one of the lowest unemployment rates. The state busi- nesses that have chosen to aggressively export products across the nation and world are playing a role, too. And, busi- nesses in Bismarck-Mandan are among those experiencing an increased global reach with exporting.

The agriculture industry has suc- cessfully led North Dakota in exporting for many years. “As a state that is the number one-ranked producer of 13 diff erent agriculture crops, it’s hard to imagine our state economy without the foundation that agriculture gives us each year.” says Doug Goehring, North Dakota Agriculture Commis- sioner. “While many people think oil is our number one industry, it’s actually agriculture and the export sales of just over $3.3 billion dollars in 2011. This is an industry that is moving North Dakota forward.” Goehring says exporting allows the state to continue to thrive. In 2011, North Dakota agriculture did business in more than 75 diff erent

countries. However, he sees room for large growth in the agriculture sector. Because North Dakota produces more food than it can consume, and the state ranks irst in the production of over a dozen commodities, to foreign buyers North Dakota is a “one stop shop,” he adds.

If a company is contemplating

whether exporting is right for its business, there are many factors that should be taken into consideration. Dean Gorder, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Ofice, says some factors businesses should think about are the stability of the market, govern- ment regulations, how the legal system operates and disposable income. If all these factors are manageable for

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