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Wendy Reuer, Published April 03 2012

Perham voters approve levy

PERHAM, Minn. – Voters here approved a $2.2 million school district operating levy Tuesday night.

The referendum passed by 56 percent, or 1,535 “yes” votes, over 44 percent, or 1,208 “no” votes.

The vote was the fifth in four years.

“It’s good to get a chance to move on and take care of some of our immediate needs,” Superintendent Mitch Anderson said.

The district looked to pass an operating levy as it faces a projected $6 million budget shortfall and the need for a handful of key capital improvement and technology projects.

Anderson said some of the funds would be used for technology, such as an iPad initiative at the high school and computer lab upgrades. It will also pay for infrastructure needs such as roof and parking lot repairs.

The five-year, ($440,000 per year) referendum will cost the homeowner of a homesteaded house valued at $100,000 $18 per year. A $200,000 home will be taxed $45 per year.

The funds will not begin filtering into the district until the 2013-14 school year, but Anderson said Tuesday he hopes to get some of the technology programs – such as the iPad initiative – running by the fall.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530