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Litchfield finalizes levy details for May referendum

LITCHFIELD --Litchfield Public Schools will start distributing information about a May 19 referendum proposal in the upcoming weeks after the School Board finalized levy details during its Monday meeting.

Superintendent Bill Wold said Tuesday the school board approved proposing a seven-year, $600-per-student op-erating levy.

The district's existing levy of $301.51 was passed in 2002.

A $300-per-student levy increase was proposed in the November elections.

It failed.

Shortly thereafter, the district was informed it was in statutory operating debt.

The Minnesota Department of Education gave Litchfield permission to propose a May 19 referendum after the district organized a state-mandated three-year recovery plan.

The district will now inform the Meeker County Auditor about the referendum and submit its poll question by a state-mandated March 26 deadline. Wold said the district will submit its paperwork to the county auditor's office by the end of the week.

In the weeks running up to the referendum, the district and an active citizens committee will distribute information about the levy proposal to voters.

Wold said the privately funded citizens committee -- which the district didn't have in November-- has divided the district into five areas and committee leaders will organize informational meetings in their respective territories.

Wold said he also started scheduling meetings with some of the local clubs similar to what he did for November's referendum. He said the district even planned to meet with the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce in hopes of gaining its endorsement for the levy proposal.

In previous proposals, Wold said, the district has not attempted to ask the Chamber of Commerce for an endorsement.