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Willmar will seek another levy in 2011, when current one expires

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- A week after voters turned down a request for an operating levy, the Willmar Schools officials have left no doubt that there will be another vote in November 2011.

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At Monday's School Board meeting, Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said he has already met with Education Matters, the citizens' group that supported the previous levy.

Because the $498.49 levy will expire after this year, the district will be asking voters to at least renew the levy next year. Without that levy to help pay operating expenses, the district would lose $2.3 million a year from its $40 million budget.

The district has a $201.51 levy that was approved in 2008.

That levy brings in about $930,000 a year.

The two levies currently in effect raise a total of $700 per pupil-unit and generate $1.14 million in referendum aid from the state of Minnesota. If the $498.49 levy is allowed to expire next year, the state referendum aid available to the district would drop to $327,000.

Still to be decided is whether the district will ask voters to approve more than the $498.49 in the next election.

"We will have to start planning after the first of the year," Kjergaard said.

An analysis of the election from Kjergaard and board member Mike Reynolds indicated that the levy passed in the city of Willmar but did not outside the city.

The levy question failed in five of Willmar's 12 precincts and failed in all but two of the precincts outside Willmar.

The vote in Willmar was 3,193 in favor of the levy and 3,081 against, a margin of 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent. In other areas of the school district, the levy failed 1,234 to 1,598, a margin of 43.6 percent to 56.4 percent.

The vote in Willmar was 3,193 in favor of the levy and 3,081 against, a margin of 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent. In other areas of the school district, the levy failed 1,234 to 1,598, a margin of 43.6 percent to 56.4 percent.

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