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%
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