The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 7, 2012

Most area school levies pass

By Amanda Dyslin
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — Of the proposed school district operating levies for New Ulm, Sleepy Eye, Madelia and Lake Crystal, only Sleepy Eye’s didn’t pass Tuesday night.

New Ulm’s $575 per-pupil increase for 10 years was passed with 56 percent of the vote, 5,991 to 4,658. Remme estimates taxes on a $140,000 home will go up less than $170 per year and will garner an additional $1.3 million for the district.

“I am very pleased, very happy for our students and our parents and our committee that worked so hard to support this,” said Supt. Harold Remme. “And I want to compliment the residents of our school district for recognizing the importance of education and being willing to support it with additional finances.”

Madelia’s $1,200 operating levy over 10 years — a $500 increase over the current $700 levy — was passed 885 votes to 728 votes, or by 55 percent. Supt. Brian Grenell said taxes on the average $100,000 homestead will increase by about $185 per year for the next 10 years.

Grenell said he was thankful to the residents who voted yes.

“First of all, I want to thank everyone that worked on this. There were a lot of people who worked very hard,” he said. “... It’s going to be a lot brighter day tomorrow than it if it was a no.”

Voters also renewed Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial’s $316 per-pupil levy with 2,158 in favor and 1,154 against, or by 65 percent of the vote.

Numbers were much closer on LCWM’s capital levy for technology in the amount of $175,000 per year for 10 years. The levy passed 1,654 to 1,626, or with 50.4 percent of the vote. Taxes on the average $100,000 homestead are expected to increase $16 per year.

Sleepy Eye’s $500 operating levy was voted down 1,486 votes to 1,161 votes, or by 56 percent. Supt. John Cselovszki said it’s the fourth attempt in as many years, and all have failed.

But he said Tuesday night that the district made gains this year in support for the levy.

“(We) appreciate people who supported the effort,” said Cselovszki, who added the district will try again next year.