B.P. voters will have referendums, school board candidates on ballot

Published 6:17 am Friday, September 25, 2009

Blooming Prairie voters will have a lot on their minds and ballots Nov. 3.

The Blooming Prairie Public School District has two referendums and four school board positions up for election.

The proposed referendums are operating levies, which would provide additional funding based on the number of students. Both levies would be used for different school functions.

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The first question calls for an additional $350 per student increase for 10 years. The existing levy allots $350 per student and has two years remaining. This proposed levy would nullify the existing levy and set a new one at $700 per student.

“To keep our students engaged we need more money,” Blooming Prairie Superintendent Barry Olson said.

This money would be used on current programing and general school operation.

“We’ve cut $300,000 a year; soon we won’t have anywhere to cut,” Olson said.

For this levy, not all of the tax burden would be on the people of Blooming Prairie. This would be an equalized increase.

Equalization provides matching funding from the state. Approximately 55 percent of the money would come from local tax payers, with 45 percent coming from the state.

In total this would be $282,000 in funding for the district. For a homeowner with a house valued at $150,000, their annual share would be about $108.

This will be the third year that this proposed levy has been placed on the ballots.

“We are very hopeful,” school board chairwoman Kathi Peterson said.

The second question is contingent on the passage of the first referendum.

The second item for the consideration of voters is on an additional levy that, if passed, would provide an additional $200 per student for three years.

This additional funding would also be used for programming and technology costs.

Unlike the first question, this levy would not be equalized. The annual share for a homeowner with a $150,000 house would be $109.

This levy has been on the ballot for two years.

“We’ve deficit spent for the past two years,” Olson said.

The funding provided by the levies would be used to alleviate the pressure on school operations caused by budget cuts.

The levies are not the only items of consideration on the Blooming Prairie ballot. Four spots on the school board will also be available.

The terms of Rae Jean Hansen, Rodney Krell, Loretta Ingvalson and Jeff McCabe are due to expire this year; Krell is the only one running again.

Jamie Bodenstab, Ron Janning and Linda Kaplan will also be running.

For more information about the referendums or to see the minutes from the Blooming Prairie School Board meetings, visit www.bpblossoms.com.