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Forum staff reports, Published August 27 2013

Fargo School Board changes date of excess mill levy vote to March 11

FARGO – The Fargo School Board voted Tuesday to change the date of next spring’s special election in which voters will decide whether to allow an excess mill levy for the public school system.

The board rescinded the original referendum date of March 25, and then voted to lock in March 11 for the vote.

The new election date was approved on a 7-1 vote, with John Strand voting against the change. Board member Robin Nelson was not present.

School Board President Dinah Goldenberg said board members realized that March 25 is the last day of a scheduled Fargo schools vacation break, and worried that some people who traveled out of town might not make it back in time to cast their votes.

The North Dakota University System and Minnesota State University Moorhead also have spring break March 17-21, so board members decided to move the date up two weeks sooner, rather than one week, she said.

Goldenberg said the March 11 referendum date should give more people the opportunity to cast their ballot.

A law passed by the state Legislature in 2009 requires a vote by Dec. 1, 2015, to approve a mill levy of more than 110 mills.

The school district’s budget for 2013-14 calls for levying 139 general fund mills, which is 52.18 mills less than the 191.18 levied last year, Business Manager Broc Lietz said.