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GMR School highlights levy election topics


At the City of Greenbush’s October 18 meeting, Greenbush-Middle River School Superintendent Larry Guggisberg informed the council on the special election coming up, one involving two levy questions. He also highlighted the school’s outreach efforts prior to the vote. At the school board meeting later that evening, he then highlighted this same information.

As review, back at an August 2 special meeting, the Greenbush-Middle River School Board approved two levy ballot questions for district residents to vote on. The first is to renew its expiring $506.05 per pupil levy, set to expire on June 30, 2022. The second one is to pass a levy $700 per pupil more than the expiring levy. If passed, both would run for six years and would provide $289,934 to the district annually, according to preliminary estimates provided to the district.

A house, garage, and one acre are taxed under operating levies. Seasonal recreational properties and agricultural land and buildings beyond the dwelling value (home, garage, and one acre) are exempt from operating levies.

At the city meeting, Guggisberg also highlighted how, in reaction to the public asking the district to show them that it needs the money, it cut 10 percent of its $4.5 million budget. Specifically, to counteract the district’s financial situation that, according to budget numbers provided in July 2020, sat at an estimated $545,371 deficit, the district approved about $451,000 in reductions in March 2021.

Before leaving the city meeting, Guggisberg highlighted how question one has to pass in order for question two to pass. He added how question one was a “no-brainer.” If ballot question one fails, ballot question two seeking the additional revenue would be cancelled out.

With this first question, the renewal of the $506.05 per pupil levy, individuals will actually be paying less than what they have been paying on the original, expiring levy. Guggisberg explained how the buying power of a levy changes from the first year it runs to the last.

As for voting options, absentee voting concludes on November 1. District residents also have two voting sites: the Greenbush Community Center and the Middle River Community Center. They will be open from 7 am to 8 pm on November 2. Each election site will have four election judges, with Anita Locken being the head judge at the Greenbush site and Michelle Kern at the Middle River site.

Two people will be transporting the ballots from Middle River to be counted by the voting machine in Greenbush. The final results will be posted on the Greenbush-Middle River and Minnesota Secretary of State websites. At its October 18 meeting, the board approved canvassing the ballots in the school library on November 5 at 8:00 am.

To see the complete story, read the October 27 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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