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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 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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55

Rushford-Peterson Homecoming 2014

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

The Rushford-Peterson Schools will celebrate Homecoming 2014 the week of September 22-27. The Presentation of the Royalty and the naming of the King and Queen will take place at an all-school assembly September 23rd at 2:30 pm in the High School gy ..... 
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Rushford - Peterson discusses open meeting in preparation for forums

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Sep 15th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

Due to several upcoming public forums, the R-P district has sought legal advice on regulations regarding to open meeting law. The district has been advised to follow protocol for published notice, as it does with board meetings, so regardless of whe ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson discusses plans for repurposing facilities

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Aug 25th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

Following a recent Tri-City meeting, and meetings with municipal councils and entities, the school board continues to discuss options for repurposing current facilities should the November referendum be successful. In doing so, the district has secu ..... 
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AWANA springs up in the Rushford Peterson Valley

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 15th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

Awana, an international non-profit ministry for children in kindergarten through high school, will see its first club in Fillmore County this fall, piggybacking on the success of clubs in Houston County (Spring Grove) and Winona County (St. Charles ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson addresses building security

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

The district has ramped up its protocol for usage and opted for restricted access by key, following a concern brought forth by board member Taylor Peterson regarding unauthorized and unsupervised use of the facility. Under the new plan, access to th ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson schools receives books to promote early literacy

Thu, Jul 10th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

Owatonna, Minn. - Rushford-Peterson Schools was one of 29 organizations to receive donated books through Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s (SMIF) BookStart program, a partnership between SMIF and Capstone. This grant program, which awarde ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson Schools School Board Election for Fall 2014

Mon, Jul 7th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

The school board elections will take place with the fall general election to be held on Tuesday, November 4. There will be three openings on the Rushford-Peterson Board of Education and the terms will be for four years. Angela Colbenson, Daniel Muns ..... 
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R-P moves new referendum forward

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 20th, 2014
Posted in Rushford 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 th ..... 
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