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Scott Richardson, Pelican Rapids, Minn., Published September 29 2013

Letter: We just want good education for children

A letter to the editor on Sept. 17 from Todd Gross left me feeling angry. People build homes or cabins in this beautiful lakes area and think they shouldn’t pay their fair share of taxes here, especially fighting the school portion. A lot of the complaining comes from one of Minnesota’s wealthiest townships, Dunn Township near Pelican Rapids. The owner of a typical nonhomestead property there worth $500,000 pays about $4,000 in property taxes. A homeowner of a house in north Fargo valued at $340,000 pays about $4,900 in property taxes.

I should feel bad that you pay so much in property tax, but I’m just trying to get my kids a decent education in the great little town of Pelican Rapids. We’ve already cut back to four-day school weeks, patched the high school built in 1928, added on to the high school in 1953, 1962, 1972 and 1987. Now we’re left with a building of mazes, connecting links at 11 different levels, over a dozen unsecured entrances/

exits, and even a condemned section on the north end.

Tours have been offered, and obviously a lot of lake residents haven’t taken one. On the tour last year, I was actually embarrassed by the condition of the building. On the tour, a person said, “If you think this is bad, you should see some of the schools in North Dakota.”

As a graduate of Fargo North High School, I’ve seen a lot of North Dakota schools, Davies, Carl Ben, Cheney, to name a few. Our proposed bond is a very modest plan at a time of extremely low interest rates.

I’m just feeling very hopeless and not really sure how to get through to the rich lake people who refuse to support my kids and their education.