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Fairmont Area not giving up

June 10, 2008 - Lee Smith
Fairmont Area Schools has seen two referendums defeated going back to the fall of 2007. The first, for $29 million, fell by a 2-1 margin. The most recent for $9.85 million, in May, was much closer, but still a defeat. The school wants the money to make a wide variety of facilities improvements. Meanwhile, the school is awaiting word from the state of Minnesota on whether its request for health and safety levy authority will be approved. This $12 million request does not require voters' approval. I picked up some tidbits on these issues Monday when I was called in to cover the school board meeting. Before the meeting, Superintendent Butch Hanson noted that the school is studying its options and must abide by some rules to hold another referendum this fall. For instance, the amount sought must increase or decrease by 10 percent. He also noted that the school should know more about its request for health and safety levy authority in two or three weeks. The state and the district have been exchanging paperwork on the matter. In the meantime, of course, the district's facilities are not getting any younger. Like a lot of taxpayers, I'm not keen on seeing my burden go up. Yet the district isn't going to disappear anytime soon. Rather, it's going to be around for many years and will require decent facilities. Since that's the case, the sooner the taxpayers pay for the needed repairs, the better. The bill is only going to go up the longer we wait.


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