Dist. 728 convinced it’s right time for levy renewal

BY JIM BOYLE

jim.boyle@ecm-inc.com

The Elk River Area School Board is convinced it’s time to go out for an operating levy renewal with more than a year but less than two left on one of the school district’s current operating levies.

It’s also going to consider a second question once Randy Anderson, the executive director for business services, has another chance to crunch the tax impact numbers and assess ways of limiting tax impact on District 728 residential homeowners and businesses. There’s an interest on the board for considering a second levy question for curriculum and technology purposes.

Superintendent Mark Bezek has been in talks with Don Lifto of Springsted Inc., a financial consulting firm, and Bill Morris, a pollster with Decision Resources.

Lifto said if suburban districts don’t have to go out they’re not going out this year, with it being a presidential election with controversial topics such as the marriage amendment and voter identification.

Morris, meanwhile, said Elk River has historically done well during presidential election years, noting that the Elk River Area School District needs young voters out to have success.

The Elk River Area School District could wait a year with the renewal question, but by going this fall it will have two cracks at it before it falls off the books. Board members also figure if this fall’s levy renewal doesn’t pass, the process for figuring out the next wave of cuts would have to begin during the 2012-13 school year.

School Board Chairwoman Jolene Jorgensen has been shot down in her attempts to get the School Board interested in bonding for high school auditoriums in Rogers and Zimmerman. Bezek said the climate would not lend itself to passing something for auditoriums.

"Those rank right up there with swimming pools and ice arenas," he said, noting unless you have a strong community drive they are nearly impossible.

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