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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
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R-P moves new referendum forward


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 20th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

Options regarding the new school initiative and a November 4, 2014 referendum were recently presented to the Rushford-Peterson District School Board. Gary Olson, of Ehler’s & Associates, and Dean Beeninga, of architectural firm ATS&R, presented the district with a preliminary look and general obligation bond financing, estimated payments and tax levies for the proposed new debt, and early analysis of tax impact for the issue.

The district is seeking a new, $37 million plus, pre-K through grade 12 facility on the Eiken Drive property north east of the district’s sports complex. A referendum for a $15 million, pre-K through grade 5 facility was defeated in December 2012, following years of the district lobbying, unsuccessfully for $20 million in state aid through bonding bills. Following further pressure on lawmakers, a new change in debt equalization aid has renewed the district’s initiative.

The new bill could potentially assist the district with an estimated 55 percent of the funding. Designed to assist districts that have suffered natural disasters, the legislation could net R-P $1.6 million in aid. Through the original legislation, the district would have seen less than $200,000 in aid on its previous referendum project. “It would have been significantly reduced,” noted Gary Olson. “We looked at grant programs, but the legislature likes formulas and they didn’t want to set precedent, which is why they set up this formula. Legislators won’t have to pick to give money to district A, but not district B. It’s a way to provide you help.”

With the special legislation, aid is calculated by state average of taxable market values. The percentage of aid is also based on the size of the project and there is a threshold that much be reached. If the project is cut back, the district could receive less aid. According to Olson, if the project were reduced by $2 million, it would not reduce tax levy proportionally.

The district would need an estimated $38,165 bond for the project. Three uses of the funds include allowance for discount bidding ($183,192), which could give underwriter’s further flexibility for best bidding and legal and fiscal costs ($118,665). Also included is capitalized interest ($275,000), which will assist in keeping 2015 and a portion of the 2016 tax levy equal over time, due to the district being ineligible for aid the first year of the 20-year term.

Comme .....
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56

Rushford-Peterson catches a break; gets tangled in bully issue

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

“We asked for a miracle, we got one. It wasn’t what we asked for but it was exactly what we needed,” enthused Superintendent Chuck Ehler. The comments came on the heels of notification that the education piece of the Omnibus bill, HF 3172, rega ..... 
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R-P runs into insurance snag

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Apr 25th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

At the Monday, April 21 Rushford Peterson school board meeting, the district acknowledged a snag with bids for insurance coverage. Board member Taylor Peterson sought clarification, as did local insurance agent Butch Johnson, who was present and addr ..... 
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Early Childhood Initiative

Fri, Apr 4th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

Rushford-Peterson Community Education offers many opportunities for early childhood aged children and their families. Our Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) classes are open to birth-5 year olds. Parents and children attend the themed classes t ..... 
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R-P’s last legislative “hurrah”

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Mar 21st, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

In a continuation of discussion from the March 11 work session, Superintendent Chuck Ehler again sought guidance for the direction of the district in regards to facility improvements and upgrades. In the last six years, R-P has gone through a series ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson One-Act Play state bound again

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Feb 7th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

Picture this: An egotistical high school drama director forces his students to do a cutting from the play “Equus”, the 1973 play by Peter Shaffer, for the Minnesota State High School League competition. Rebellious at this insistence, the student ..... 
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R-P School Board receives clean audit, sets final levy

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Dec 20th, 2013
Posted in Peterson Education

The district has been notified by Clifton, Larson & Allen that it has received a clean audit for the year. Kim Hillberg, representing the firm, relayed the findings to the board at the Monday, December 16 meeting. While there were two compliance fin ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson narrows options for future

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2013
Posted in Peterson Education

The Future Facilities Task Force has spent weeks working out the details of potential options for the future of the district’s aging facilities. After a failed referendum last December, the district called for the task force to pour over the sugge ..... 
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R-P renews superintendent’s contract

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Nov 1st, 2013
Posted in Peterson Education

After a recent snafu involving a well-meaning board chairwoman Angela Colbenson who followed school legal counsel advice, the district has officially approved Superintendent Ehler’s contract for another two years. Ehler’s past contract expired J ..... 
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