By Starrla Cray
HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN Here’s what to expect regarding the ballot questions for the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District levy election Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Voters will have the opportunity to fill in a “yes” or “no” circle for three questions pertaining to the district’s $880,000 operating levy.
The first question voters will see proposes to extend the district’s current $500-per-pupil levy for 10 years. This is an existing levy that the district is asking to renew, and it doesn’t result in an increase in taxes.
If this question passes, annual taxes for a $100,000 home would decrease by $2, because the district’s tax base is spread over more people than in previous years.
The second question proposes adding an inflationary rate to question one, and can only pass if the first question passes.
“By putting the inflationary factor on there, it’s one way for us to keep up with increases in fuel and other expenses that happen on an annual basis,” board member Al Doering said during a presentation to the Waverly City Council Oct. 13.
Question number three proposes taking away the existing $50-per-pupil-unit levy and replacing it with a $150-per-pupil-unit levy. The existing levy expires at the end of the 2011-12 school year. If the new $150 levy passes, it would have a five-year term.
The third question would result in a $20 tax increase for a home valued at $100,000.
Cuts if levy fails
If all three questions fail, $400,000 in cuts would need to be made for the 2010-11 school year. If the levy would fail again next year, an additional $600,000 in cuts are proposed.
If the first two levy questions pass, but the third fails, some cuts will still have to be made, but they wouldn’t be as significant, Superintendent Brad Sellner said.
Currently, the $50-per-pupil-unit levy provides the district with $71,000. If that is replaced by the $150-per-student levy, it will provide the district with an additional $142,000.
The levy election will have three polling places for voters who are part of Independent School District No. 2687. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Residents of Waverly, as well as Marysville and Woodland townships, will vote at Humphrey Elementary School in Waverly.
People who live in Howard Lake, as well as Middleville, Victor, Albion, and Stockholm townships, will vote at the Howard Lake Middle School in Howard Lake.
The polling place for Winsted residents, as well as voters in Winsted Township and Hollywood Township, will be the Winsted Elementary School in Winsted.
Absentee info and more
Absentee voting materials are available at the district office at the middle school in Howard Lake. The absentee ballot application is also available on the school web site, www.hlww.k12.mn.us. Click on the “operating levy 2009” tab, and select “absentee ballot application” on the right side of the screen. Voters can fax, e-mail, or hand deliver absentee ballots.
Questions regarding the levy should be directed to a HLWW school board member, including Al Doering, Michelle Heuer, Dan Schaible, Jesse Tintes, Charles Weber, Paul Weibel, and Jamie Wiech.
Contact information is listed on the HLWW school web site. Click on the “operating levy 2009” tab, and go to “school board member contact info.”
The school web site, www.hlww.k12.mn.us, also has additional levy information, including a sample ballot, the official special election notice, and a taxpayer notification.