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Published May 04 2010

Pelican Rapids, Minn., voters reject school levy for third time

Voters in Pelican Rapids, Minn., rejected a school levy for the third time in less than two years.

In Otter Tail County’s first mail-ballot election, 1,619 district residents, or almost 53 percent of voters, weighed in against the $700-per-pupil levy. In turn, 1,449 people voted yes.

In all, almost 70 percent of registered voters in the district took part in the election. Of them, 172 voters cast a ballot Monday in person.

The Otter Tail County Auditor’s Office wrapped up counting the ballots early this morning.

The $700 per pupil levy would have raised school taxes on a $100,000 home by an estimated $130 per year over eight years.

The district – among fewer than 10 percent in Minnesota without an operating levy – decided to pursue the mail-ballot vote roughly six months after a second defeat at the polls last fall.

School officials said opting for a spring vote over the November election would allow the district to stave off some of $300,000 in budget cuts planned for next school year.