MISHAWAKA -- Mishawaka school board member Jeff Emmons says there’s an upside to the district’s recently failed $28 million referendum.

“I think whether you were against it or for it,” he said, “the community now knows there are some critical (facilities) needs.”

School officials have said the district has a limited amount of money to fix leaking roofs, replace decades-old boilers and upgrade security and technology.

They’ve blamed the pinch on a combination of factors, from Circuit Breaker tax caps, which limit the amount of money that can be collected via levies to the decreasing assessed valuation within the school corporation’s boundaries.

By way of a referendum, community members were asked if they’d be willing to pay higher property taxes to fund the facilities needs.

On election day, 69 percent of voters shot down the proposal.

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