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2012 tax levy vote comes with gift of time for school district

It pays to double-check.

In this instance, Red Wing Public Schools gained a year for determining which direction to take its operating levy, which up until Monday was thought to expire at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

After business manager Jackie Paradis inquired with the state as to the current operating levy’s expiration, it was discovered the levy — while passed in 2012 as a continuance of the previous levy — was not implemented until the expiration of the old levy.

“What happened was we did pass a five-year levy in 2012, but we did not implement the first year,” said Supt. Karsten Anderson. “We waited one year because we still had a year left on the previous referendum.”

Board members were all in agreement on taking the newly discovered time to shape the referendum, using much of the same framework focused on community involvement used during the building bond campaign, which passed last month.

While nothing was made official Monday night, it is highly unlikely a referendum question will come before the voters sooner than November 2017.

“We don’t want to just put something on there to put a band-aid on what’s happening,” said Chair Janie Farrar. “We have to make sure it’s going to do what the community wants for its education system.”

Board member Mike Christensen continued with that sentiment.

“The additional time is a blessing that we can actually look at our programming and what’s going on and where we are and we don’t have to ask for a simple renewal, because we know we need that,” he said. “We can actually look at what we’re doing, review it, mull it over, see if it is still necessary, we what we have, where we can better use funding we might ask for.”

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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