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Yellow Medicine East will ask its voters to renew levy

GRANITE FALLS -- Yellow Medicine East School Board members will ask voters to renew an operating levy this November, one year earlier than its expiration.

Board members decided at their meeting Monday to put the measure on this November's ballot, according to Superintendent Al Stoeckman.

The levy provides $401 per pupil.

Board members cited a number of reasons for asking the voters to renew the issue one year early. A "yes'' vote this November would provide the school with the certainty of the funding in coming years, Stoeckman said.

With expectations for a massive state budget deficit and possibly major cuts in state funding for education, the certainty of the local support would be very important to the district.

Board members also pointed out that there would be time to bring the issue back to voters in another referendum if it should be rejected this November.

In other business, board members accepted with regret the resignation of member Robert Lee. He has accepted a new employment position out of the district.

Board members decided not to appoint a replacement and put the position on the ballot this November. Voters will elect a successor to fill the remaining two years of his term.

That means the current six-member board could see a change of three or four new members after the November election.

No one has filed for school board as of Wednesday. The superintendent said current board members Elmo Volstad and Rich Jepson have indicated that they will not file for re-election to a four-year term. The positions held by Grant Velde and Lee are the other positions up for election.

Filings remain open through Aug. 17 for the school board posts. The superintendent conducted an informal session on the duties of serving on the school board for interested persons. He said there is interest in the positions.

Also Monday, school board members reviewed a report from Energy Services Group on the status of the ventilation improvement project in the high school and Bert Raney Elementary. The boiler room work is completed in the elementary building. In the high school, progress ranges from the completion of tuck pointing work to the roughing in of piping from the mechanical room to the mezzanine.

There remain some concerns, ranging from the lead time for window replacement to rain backing up in the drainage system. The drainage system will be "televised" -- inspected through the use of video -- to determine if there is a blockage or if the system is undersized.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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