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ACGC referendum vote scheduled for November

GROVE CITY -- A request to raise school revenue by increasing taxes will be on the November ballot in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District.

The school board agreed Monday to put the issue on the general election ballot this fall instead of holding a special election earlier.

It was determined the time frame was too short to hold a special election, Superintendent Pamela Kyllingstad said. There had been concern that the levy question would get overlooked on a full general election ballot.

Kyllingstad said the board and administration will "do our best to get the word out" about the issue.

The district has had levy referendums three times since 2002, including two on the general election ballot and once with a mail-in ballot.

A levy was approved during one general election and the others were defeated.

The board has not determined the amount of the new levy request.

The district is in statutory operating debt and has a plan to raise new revenue and cut expenses.

Coral Ackman, a tenured teacher who has been at ACGC since 1987, was placed on unrequested leave as part of the budget-cutting process. Ackman teaches the family and consumer science classes.

The board decided earlier to eliminate the program in the 2006-07 school year.

The resignation of John Haas, the elementary principal, could also present opportunities for saving money.

Kyllingstad said by using two existing staff members as half-time principals the district could save $30,000 a year. A variety of alternatives will be examined before a decision is made.

Hass, who has been at ACGC for three years, has been commuting from his home in Little Falls. He has accepted the job as superintendent of the Holdingford School District, which is between St. Cloud and Little Falls.

The board also approved a resolution to transfer funds from the district's debt redemption fund and disabled access fund to its unrestricted general fund.

About $39,000 is available in the debt redemption fund and $302,000 in the accessibility fund, which is used to make facilities handicapped accessible. Other than replacing some door knobs, Kyllingstad said all the necessary changes have been made.

Legislative approval is needed for the fund transfers to take place.

In other action the board:

- On a 6-1 vote agreed to begin contract negotiations with Kyllingstad. Board member Judy Raske cast the only no vote.

- Approved a plan by parents who are raising funds to renovate a wrestling room. The board agreed to purchase the building permit once the group of volunteers has raised the estimated $10,000 needed for the project.

- Was informed that Dessi Housmann, a senior student who was involved with a serious accident two years ago, was going to be featured on a Twin Cities television news show. Housmann has given speeches on seat belt safety.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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