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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
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Rushford-Peterson bond levy: an unnecessary financial risk


Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

By Michael Machutt

Rushford, Minn.

We are being asked to commit to a minimum of $56,000,000 of debt ($38,000,000 in principal and $28,000,000 interest) in order to build a new K-12 facility. $56,000,000 is the minimum because there are still unfunded aspects associated with the new school proposal, plus it is not too hard to imagine a scenario where we get 80% into construction and learn that we have to spend millions more to finish the project. It has already been realized that the school failed to plan for sidewalks to the school, applying post plan for a grant (applying for a grant does not mean funding has happened) to help pay for one along the football field, and having nothing planned for kids coming from the Brooklyn area. This huge amount of money and the associated tax burden is in addition to any existing or planned increases in taxes at the city, county, state, or federal level. The combined tax burden could cripple the local economy while providing no long term economic or academic achievement benefit. Once approved, WE are on the hook for at least $56,000,000, no matter what else happens. If the state changes the 55% formula going forward (the state recalculates their share every year based on total property tax values in the district with the unguaranteed 55% being the maximum they will pay), or enrollment declines, or we see big increases in other taxes and fees, or the economy continues to struggle, or the tax base shrinks, or whatever; WE must pay back $56,000,000. If the bond is approved, we lose all flexibility going forward.

Let’s say that everything goes perfectly! There are no cost overruns in the construction, the maze of necessary additional sidewalks is 100% paid by grant money, the state never reduces the 55% funding share, and the tax base does not decline. The absolute best case removes $1,200,000 from the local economy each and every year for the next 20 years with little or no economic return or, even more importantly, any academic benefit that gives our students a greater competitive advantage in a world-wide economy.

There are those who subscribe to the “build it and they will come” theory of economic growth. Unfortunately, this is just wishful thinking. Surveys of all different types of business on which factors are most important in determining locations to expand or relocate their businesses all reported the same results. The number one and number two factor .....
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Rushford-Peterson bond levy: an unnecessary financial risk

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Education

By Michael Machutt Rushford, Minn. We are being asked to commit to a minimum of $56,000,000 of debt ($38,000,000 in principal and $28,000,000 interest) in order to build a new K-12 facility. $56,000,000 is the minimum because there are still unf ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson bond levy: an unnecessary financial risk

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

By Michael Machutt Rushford, Minn. We are being asked to commit to a minimum of $56,000,000 of debt ($38,000,000 in principal and $28,000,000 interest) in order to build a new K-12 facility. $56,000,000 is the minimum because there are still unf ..... 
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Donations to Fillmore Central Readiness program

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Preston Education

The Preston Area Community Foundation, along with a matching grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation,recently donated a combined $6,000 to the Fillmore Central School Readiness program. School Readiness is available to eligible child ..... 
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Donations to Fillmore Central Readiness program

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Fountain Education

The Preston Area Community Foundation, along with a matching grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation,recently donated a combined $6,000 to the Fillmore Central School Readiness program. School Readiness is available to eligible child ..... 
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Donations to Fillmore Central Readiness program

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Harmony Education

The Preston Area Community Foundation, along with a matching grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation,recently donated a combined $6,000 to the Fillmore Central School Readiness program. School Readiness is available to eligible child ..... 
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“Monster Bash” to begin soon

Mon, Sep 29th, 2014
Posted in All Education

The “Monster Bash” Haunted House is a fundraising event for the Fillmore Central Music Department. In 2011, Fillmore Central band director, Lane Powell and Monster Bash chairman, Jay Masters discussed the idea of a large scale fundraiser for th ..... 
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Lanesboro celebrates Homecoming 2014

Mon, Sep 29th, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Education

The cooler weather and leaves changing color not only mark the beginning of fall but also homecoming season for area schools. Lanesboro High School in Lanesboro, Minn. held coronation Monday, September 22, 2014, which brought many residents and vis ..... 
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Lanesboro makes changes to school bus routes

Mon, Sep 29th, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Education

Two bus stops in town will be added to the Lanesboro School bus routes starting in October. The Lanesboro School busing policy states the school buses will only pick up students that live at least one mile from the school. At the August school boa ..... 
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