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Fri, Oct 19th, 2001
Posted in

To the Editor,
Monday, October 22, 2001

To the Editor,

I am writing to plead with all Fillmore Central school district tax payers to vote “YES” for the school levy referendum on November 6 for two reasons.

First, the school needs it desperately1 Because of rural demographic trends, our enrollment has been declining by an average of 35 students per year over the past five years. Correspondingly, the school’s revenues have declined each year during that period by an average of $130,000. True, declining enrollment has allowed expenditures to decrease, but not by nearly enough to offset the reduction in revenue. As a result, our general fund balance has fallen by an average of $100,000 per year for the last three years. The most recent audit report shows our general fund balance at a perilously low $219,000.

That may sound like a lot of money to most of us but, to put it in perspective, consider that each month it takes between four and five hundred thousand dollars to operate the school. So, we currently have less than two weeks reserve in our general fund for emergencies, and that amount is declining every day. Even if no emergencies arise, following the current trend, our fund balance will be gone in about two years.

If we cut expenditures enough to stop the declining fund balance trend it will have a drastic impact on the quality of services we can deliver. Certainly, we will have to cut staff, enlarging classes that are already more crowded than we would like,a and the individual attention each student receives will decline. Also, with fewer staff, the curriculum options we can now offer will be substantially reduced. Extra curricular offerings will also have to be dramatically reduced. In short, expenditure cuts of such magnitude will significantly impact every student and staff member.

The second reason that it is crucial that this referendum pass is that a small window of opportunity exists right now that allows us to get significantly more state funding for every dollar we raise locally. Because of legislation passed in the last legislative session, the state will not only lower local property taxes b essentially erasing our current levy, but also, incredibly, it has offered to match any additional levies at a rate of 58% state contributions to 42% local contribution. This means that, for every local tax dollar we contribute, the state will add another $1.37. It is a deal that’s hard to refuse, .....
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Oct 19th, 2001
Posted in

Vernon H. Vigeland, 77, of LaCrosse, Wis., formerly of Mabel, Minn. died March 12, 2001 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel where he had resided for only a week.

Vernon was born September 5, 1923 in Preble Township, Fillmore County, M ..... 
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Gladys Judith Swain

Fri, Oct 19th, 2001
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Gladys Judith Swain, 93, of Rushford, a homemaker, died March 7, 2001 at her home.

Gladys Judith Williams was born May 15, 1907, on the Humble farm at Highland Prairie, moved to North Dakota with her family when she was 3 months old and retu ..... 
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Ronald Thorson

Fri, Oct 19th, 2001
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Ronald Thorson, 65, of rural Mabel, a retired Lockheed Corp. employee, died April 28, 2001 at Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital in Decorah, Iowa.

Ronald was born Aug. 28, 1935, in Decorah to Levi and Esther (Rotvold) Thorson. He graduated ..... 
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Orvis Carrol Paulson

Fri, Oct 19th, 2001
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Orvis Carrol Paulson died suddenly of a heart attack on September 30, 2001 at his home in St Louis Park, MN.

Orvis Carrol Paulson was born on November 24, 1940 to Elvin Ingval Paulson and Emily Gilbertson Paulson in Rushford, MN. His childhoo ..... 
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Gordon Hansen, Sr.

Fri, Oct 19th, 2001
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Gordon Hansen, Sr. of Harmony passed away at the Harmony Community Nursing Home on October 17, 2001.

He was born on February 19, 1923 in Minneapolis, MN, the son of Anders and Oda Hansen. gordon graduated from vocational high school in 1941. ..... 
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Dorothy Ann Billman

Fri, Oct 19th, 2001
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Dorothy Ann Billman, 66, of rural Chatfield, a homemaker, died of breast cancer October 14, 2001 at Seasons Hospice in Rochester, where she had resided since Sept. 27.

Dorothy Ann Pooler was born July 2, 1935, in Preston, graduated from Pres ..... 
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Gary E. Albrecht

Fri, Oct 19th, 2001
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Gary E. Albrecht, 43, of Fillmore, died October 11, 2001 of a brain tumor at Seasons Hospice in Rochester.

He was born Aug. 12, 1958, in Lanesboro and graduated from Wykoff High School in 1976. He married Debra Winslow on June 13, 1981, at t ..... 
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Abner O. Hanson

Fri, Oct 19th, 2001
Posted in

Abner O. Hanson, 83, of Buffalo, MN, formerly of Canton, died October 15, 2001 in Buffalo.

He was born July 21, 1918, in Fillmore County. He married Vivian Kenyon in Decorah, Iowa, on May 18, 1938 and she died Sept. 24, 1985. He married Gert ..... 
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