BP voters face school referendum Nov. 7
"We need people to get out and vote for the betterment of education," says Barry Olson, superintendent of Blooming School District 756.
The polls will be open from 12 noon to 8 p.m. at the Blooming Prairie Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 7 with three referendum items on the ballot.
Four school board posts will also be filled. Seeking re-election are Rodney Krell, Pam Hameister and Kelly Braaten. Dean Meshke is seeking his first term. Current board member Michelle Vigeland did not file for re-election.
The first question proposes to revoke the school district's existing voter approved referendum revenue authorization of $436 per pupil and to approve a new authorization of $436 per pupil, subject to an annual increase at the rate of inflation. If renewed, the levy will bring in $790,000.
The current operating levy runs out in year 2020 for funds to be used in the 2020-21 budget year. If this levy is passed, the board will be able to plan on the funds continuing for 10 years beginning with the 2019 tax year, used for the 2019-20 school year. This referendum if passed has no tax impact on district residents.
The second question asks for approval of an additional $100 per pupil for technology purposes.
Question 3 asks for approval of an additional $60 per pupil for reducing class size.
In order for Questions 2 and 3 to be approved, Question 1 must be approved.
Olson said that Questions 2 and 3 would amount to a tax increase of $47.65 on a $150,000 house, $29.78 on Question 2 and $17.87 on Question 3.
Operating referendums provide monies for the general fund and are taxed on only the value of the house and surrounding one acre of land, or the value of commercial property. This is taxed, using the same rate for all.
If the operating levy is renewed, it will bring in $800,000 to the district. If question 2 is approved, it will bring in $74,000. A "yes" vote on question 3 will raise $35,000.
Olson told members of the Blooming Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce recently that the BP schools are running as smoothly as he has ever seen.
If all levies are approved, it will mean $160 more per pupil unit. Blooming Prairie's per pupil unit of $860 is well below the state average of $1,139, Olson says.
More information on the school levies may be obtained from a flyer that was sent to all school district residents, or by contacting Superintendent Olson at 507-583-4426.