By Lynda Jensen
HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN Voters in the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District approved the first two questions on the ballot Tuesday saying yes to the renewal of an existing levy and to an inflationary rate increase but no to the third question of replacing an existing $50 per-pupil-unit levy with a $150 per-pupil-unit levy. The third question failed by only 84 votes. For about 50 comments on the election results, click here. For a precinct breakdown, click here.
Unofficial election results for the operating levy questions are as follows:
Question one passed, with a grand total of 1,399 yes votes and 801 no votes.
Question two passed, with a grand total of 1,117 yes votes and 1,077 no.
Question three failed with a total of 1,048 yes votes and 1,132 no votes.
For voter turnout, about 40 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls.
At the Howard Lake polling location, the total number of voters who turned out was 1,101, which is 44 percent, according to HLWW district secretary Marilyn Greeley.
In Winsted, the total number of voters who turned out was 610, which is 37 percent. For Waverly, the total number of voters who turned out was 492, or 37 percent.
In 2007, Greeley noted that the voter turnout at that time was about 33 percent. This was an off-year referendum for an HLWW levy, similar to the 2009 referendum.
During the off-year election in November 2003, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted attracted a voter turnout of 81 percent, to vote down a building bond that would have placed a k-12 school building between Howard Lake and Waverly.
Summary of questions
The following is an explanation of each ballot question on this year’s referendum:
The first question voters approved 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 will decrease by $2, because the district’s tax base is spread over more people than in previous years.
The second question proposed adding an inflationary rate to question one, and could 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 proposed 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.