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USC referendum renewal passes; NRHEG referendum increase fails

(Updated 4 p.m. Nov. 5)

Area school districts saw mixed results Tuesday night from levy referendums on the ballot.

Voters in the United South Central School District approved a renewal to the district’s expiring property tax referendum with 1,609 people, or 54.16%, voting in favor, while 1,362 people, or 45.84%, voted against.

The vote renews existing referendum revenue authorization of $1,180.49 per pupil, subject to an annual increase at the rate of inflation. The new referendum authorization will first be levied in 2020 for taxes payable in 2021 and will be in place for 10 years.

“We’re obviously very excited,” USC Superintendent Keith Fleming said Wednesday afternoon. “We feel with that levy in place, the district has the proper funding to continue with the current programs and services we’re offering for students. It was vital that that be renewed.”

Fleming said he was grateful for the support the district receives from the communities it serves.

“It’s very much appreciated,” he said.

History in Minnesota shows that districts typically have an easier job passing renewals of existing levies, while it is more challenging for them to get approval for levy increases.

Both the Albert Lea Area Schools and NRHEG districts saw this happen Tuesday night when their referendums were voted down.

The Albert Lea referendum would have increased the operating levy from $573.74 per pupil to $714.67, while the NRHEG referendum called for increasing the district’s general education revenue by $560 per pupil. Both would have been in place for 10 years.

According to unofficial results, 1,850 people, or 66.05%, voted against the NRHEG ballot question, while 951, or 33.95%, voted in favor.

Thirty-three districts had levy questions on the ballot in the Tuesday election. Aside from the 10 districts that asked for a straight renewal and the two districts that asked for a decrease, proposed increases ranged from as low as $141 per pupil in Albert Lea to as much as $806 per pupil in Greenbush Middle River School District.

Look to the Tribune for more reaction regarding the NRHEG referendum.



Results for area school boards

(Updated at 4 p.m. Nov. 5)

United South Central School Board

Vote for 3

BreAnne Scheid         828     10.89%

Chris Lutteke 1,432  18.83%*

Brad Heggen  2,064  27.14%*

Michael Schrader      1,613  21.21%*

Aaron Bernstein        401     5.27%

Diane Brooks 1,230  16.17%

Write-in          38       0.50%


NRHEG School Board

Vote for 3

Terri Engel     1,324  19.48%*

Nancy Lageson          719     10.58%

Dan Schmidt  1,351  19.88%*

Karen Flatness          1,015     14.94%

Tami L. Tufte-LaCanne 717 10.55%

Jennifer Johnson       620     9.12%

Loren Schoenrock     1,025  15.08%*

Write-in          24       0.35%


Special election for NRHEG School Board

JoAnn Hagen Maloney          2,302  97.83%

Write-in          51       2.17%


Alden-Conger School Board

Vote for 3

Tricia Linn      707     34.32%

Jay Guanella   647     31.47%

Alex Marschalk          657     31.89%

Write-in          49       2.38%


Glenville-Emmons School Board

Vote for 3

Lisa Hajek       1,083     36%

Adam Quimby           954     31.72%

Lindy Fredrickson     952     31.65%

Write-in          19       0.63%