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Saturday, October 10th, 2015
Volume ∞ Issue ∞

The facts on the R-P school project Response to Stan Gudmundson letter regarding R-P Schools

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Commentary

By John Linder

More than six months ago, the voters of the R-P School District passed a building referendum helped by the generous support of the state. It is unfortunate that a small butvocal group that opposed the referendum are still making claims of theft, deceit misappropriation of public funds and incredibly, voter fraud.

A recent article by Stan Gudmundson makes these unsupported charges. He laments that no agency will pursue his claims of wrongdoing. Unlike him, they understand that it is difficult to find evidence of wrongdoing when none took place.

First, lets take a look at his claim of a paper trail for FEMA, state and insurance money regarding flood damage. There is an extensive paper trail. These agencies do not hand out bags of cash with no accountability. They require estimates and repair invoices. Furthermore, there have been numerous audits and like all public institutions, the school records are public documents, available for inspection and copying. Before and after the referendum, many citizens asked to review these and other documents. No hidden slush fund exists.

Second, he complains that the state will not pay 55% of the construction cost. What he fails to mention is that at the time of the referendum the projected interest rate of the bond was expected to be around 4%. As it turns out, the bond rate is 2.72%. This will result in a savings to the taxpayers of $6 million over the 20-year life of the bond. With the $2.2 million premium paid by the bond company, the actual amount of interest paid will be reduced by over $8 million from the projected amount at the time of the referendum. Since the cost to the R-P taxpayers is less, the state formula for reimbursement will be proportionally less as well.

Thirdly, he questions the guarantee from the state. Debt equalization has been used by the state for years to fund school districts based on their relative tax base. They have never defaulted on this obligation. In addition, like general education aid, it is appropriated automatically and does not require any legislative action once it is in place. This is necessary for school districts to plan their budget cycles and to insure that favorable bond ratings are available to keep interest rates as low as possible. In our case, the bond company was convinced, as they were willing to pay a $2.2 million premium to obtain state guaranteed bonds of the highest rating.

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Peterson approves County 25 project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Oct 27th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Commentary

Peterson saw standing room only at the Wednesday, October 22 council meeting, a portion of which was dedicated to a second public hearing on the County 25 project planned for 2015. The state aid highway is scheduled to have a complete reconstruction ..... 
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Homeowners see reduction in school taxes

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Commentary

Homeowners of the Rushford-Peterson School District should find a pleasant surprise when they open their 2014 Property Tax Statements. They will see a reduction in school taxes due to equalization enacted by the legislature last year. A homeowner wit ..... 
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