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Four area districts approve referendums

WORTHINGTON -- Tuesday's election brought good news for administrators in four area school districts: Adrian, Edgerton, Heron Lake-Okabena and Westbrook-Walnut Grove. Each succeeded in passing a referendum that called for the replacement of each district's current levy with one that allows higher per-pupil spending.

Passing by the largest margin was the referendum vote in the Edgerton school district, where 615 of 762 voters, nearly 81 percent, voted to revoke the existing referendum of $613 per pupil and replace it with a $1,200 per pupil referendum.

Superintendent LeRoy Domagala said he was both pleased by the support and surprised by the large margin.

"We're pleased we don't have to make a lot of cuts again for next year," he said. "We reduced a lot of stuff for this year, now we don't have to do it for next year."

In Adrian, the margin was a bit slimmer, but 55 percent voted to revoke the existing referendum of $450 per student, among the lowest in the state, and increase it to a $1,250 per pupil referendum.

"We feel very good that we had a great turnout and that people understand that this was a vote for kids," said Superintendent Roger Graff following the vote.

The referendum will mean an additional yearly tax of $195 for residents in the Adrian school district per $100,000 of property value.

Passing by a six-vote margin was the referendum in the Heron Lake-Okabena district, where the measure received 226 'yes' votes and 220 'no' votes.

"Passing this referendum for the school district means we can avoid a lot of the reductions we would have been facing in the spring," Superintendent Becky Cselovszki said following the school board's canvass of the vote. "We're excited we can continue to operate as normal and it's exciting for our students."

The referendum will increase by $1,000 per pupil, to $2,087 per pupil, or a $363 annual tax increase for $100,000 of property value.

Eighty-one percent of voters in district 2898 also approved an increase of the existing referendum for Westbrook-Walnut Grove schools, increasing per-pupil spending from $500 to $700. It amounts to a $40 per year tax increase on $100,000 of taxable property value.

See Thursday's Daily Globe for the printed results of the Cottonwood County school board elections and the District 2898 referendum.