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Continued: Voters approve levy requests in four south metro districts

  • Article by: ERIN ADLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 10, 2013 - 9:49 PM

“We are very excited. It’s a happy day in Lakeville schools,” she said.

Snyder said she believes that the district’s recent strategies of more communication and financial transparency have “really paid off.”

The new funding — which will cost the owner of an average-priced home $167 annually — will allow the district to avoid cuts in 2014-15, and “it’s also going to put us on a better path” for the future, she said.

The district can now address “some of the class size issues that are so prevalent in our schools, so we’re pretty thrilled about that,” she said.

The district had 20 polling places this year, as opposed to only four sites in 2007, when a levy request failed by just 12 votes.

In 2007 and 2010, voters approved renewing existing levies but denied requests for new funding.

This year, “There weren’t any lines. It was in and out, and people appreciated that,” Snyder said.

Inver Grove Heights

Inver Grove Heights Superintendent Dee Wells knows that passing the $24.75 million, 19-year bond referendum, which the district deemed necessary to update aging facilities, was a close call.

But, “It is 52 percent, and that is sufficient. And we are just very, very grateful,” she said.

She believes this was “one of the first times we’ve been successful [with a levy request] on a first try,” she said. The district hasn’t passed a bond referendum since 2005, and technology levies were defeated in 2011 and 2012.

In June, the board approved putting a $31 million question on the ballot — but then they saw survey results indicating residents would be likely to support a lower amount, said Jason Mutzenberger, the district’s director of business services.

As a result, the district reduced their request to the current figure, which will cost the average homeowner $77 more per year.

The new funding will be used to make improvements in four areas — arts, academics, athletics and security, Wells said. And more than one-quarter of the money will go to deferred maintenance projects, like new windows and roofs.

Though the board cut some items from the original request, “the package itself is still a huge step forward for our students,” Wells said.

Erin Adler • 952-746-3283

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