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Rushford-Peterson referendum denied


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012
Posted in Rushford Education

In the Rushford-Peterson gymnasium lobby Wednesday, voters choose whether or not to move the district’s plans of a new, $15 million Early Childhood-Grade 5 facility forward. In a margin of 993 to 658 (60.15 percent to 39.85 percent) that plan was rejected.

The plans have been part of an ongoing project by the district in its New School Initiative. Originally, the district had hoped to construct an Early Childhood-Grade 12 facility at the cost of $29 million, utilizing potential state funding for up to $20 million of that cost. When all attempts to secure outside funding for the project failed, the district shifted its plans to a phased project that would construct the elementary portion of the school first, with a proposed middle and high school in an additional five to seven years.

With the referendum for the phased project now being denied, where does the district go? Many residents that were contacted were neither disappointed nor satisfied, but rather felt “in between” or “torn” both before and after the results were tallied.

Rushford Mayor Chris Hallum, a long-time proponent of the district’s efforts, believes a new school is needed. “It’s how you go about it,” he said the morning following the vote. “I think there were two things that decided this vote. One is the tax burden. The second is that clearly people didn’t support a phased project. The wanted a complete school. The state has to come through. We need to say, ‘Hey, we tried and these are the results.’”

“I always come to the conclusion that there’s really not a right answer,” said Kendra Eide, who had a “Vote Yes” sign in her Rushford yard. “We need to do something, whether remodel or building. What’s the next step? What’s the right answer? I do know, so much effort was put into this. You have to respect them for taking charge and trying.”

Still, others were not surprised that it failed. The referendum would have relied heavily on the farmer’s within the district taxing them not only for their homestead, but for each additional acre. Still, many of them, like everyone else, were torn. “The timing was just bad for people right now,” noted Rushford farmer Richard Anderson. “My thinking is that for now, they’re just going to have to fix up the building.” Anderson was also surprised at margin of the vote. “For now it’s done with, but it’ll be back. Sooner or later .....
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Virgil E. Johnson

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012
Posted in Rushford Obituaries

Virgil E. Johnson, 71, of Highland, Minn. died on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at his home. Virgil was born on April 18, 1941, in Highland, Minn. to Vernon and Evelyn (Hjelle) Johnson. He was raised in Highland where he lived and farmed all of his ..... 
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Bertram Hovland

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012
Posted in Rushford Obituaries

Bertram Benson Hovland, 91, of Rushford passed away at Good Shepherd Lutheran Nursing Home on December 16, 2012. He was born March 30, 1921, to George and Laura Hovland. A graduate of Rushford High School, he excelled at Football, Baseball and B ..... 
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Rushford sets levy, looks for cost savings

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Last week, the council tabled setting the levy for the 2013 budget to allow for further review of the budget. Following an in-depth discussion of line item areas, the council proceeded with setting the levy at $740,000, a 0 percent increase from 201 ..... 
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Rushford looking at no levy increase

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Municipalities within the state must certify the levy to the county auditor on or before five working days after December 20 each year. With that date rapidly approaching, a Rushford budget subcommittee of city staff, Mayor Chris Hallum, and council ..... 
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Letter about R-P Referendum

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, I attended the RP referendum meeting, took the tour of the facilities and listened intently to presenters, numerous questions and answers. I learned new facts and gained greater understanding of what assumptions were used in developi ..... 
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Letter about R-P referendum

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, When I mentioned to a proponent that increased taxes for a new school are problematic for people on a fixed income, she said, “There are a lot of old people with money here. They are just greedy.” The 2007 flood was absolutel ..... 
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Why vote ‘NO’ for R-P Referendum?

By Jon Peterson

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Commentary

Ten years ago the residents of the R-P school district, in a bonding referendum, overwhelmingly told the district they wanted their current facilities maintained and improved. Several things the district deemed necessary were done (such as new bleac ..... 
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Why vote ‘YES’ for R-P Referendum?

By Angela Colbenson

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By Angela Colbenson R-P School Board Chair On December 19, Rushford Peterson school district will be asking their voters to approve up to 15 million dollars to be utilized for building a new elementary building plus utilize a small portion to reha ..... 
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