Weather Forecast


Precinct for school tax levy vote set at community center

The polling place and voting hours have been set, as the Perham School Board prepares for another run at an increased tax levy referendum.

Election day is November 3. Voting for all precincts in the Perham school district will be at the Perham Area Community Center, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The board voted, at the July 21 meeting, to consolidate all voting at the one precinct. Board member Sue Von Ruden was the only "no" vote--opposing the elimination of outlying voting precincts.

"I was thinking about people living out in the fringe area," said Von Ruden, explaining her opposition vote. "I just want everybody to have the opportunity to vote."

This is the second levy referendum in two years. Last year, November of 2008, the measure was defeated by more than a two-to-one margin.

The decision for one voting place was made, in large part, because 2009 is an off-election year. Without a general election, the school district would need to absorb all the costs associated with multiple precincts--including election judge wages and voting machine rental. One precinct will reduce election costs substantially, though the precise savings were not specified at the meeting.

Voters in these jurisdictions will all vote at the Perham community center:

Becker County: Evergreen Township

Otter Tail County townships: Amor, Butler, Candor, Corliss, Dead Lake, Dora, Edna, Gorman, Hobart, Leaf Lake, Maine, Otter Tail, Otto, Perham, Pine Lake, Rush Lake and Star Lake.

Otter Tail County cities: Dent, Ottertail, Perham and Richville.

Notices of the election will be published, and also will be mailed to every affected household in the district with at least one registered voter.

Voters will be asked to approve a tax increase that will generate more annual operating revenue for the schools.

Initial proposals called for a property tax hike that would generate $695 per pupil each year, for up to five years. This would likely bolster the school's annual operating budget by about $1 million--varying somewhat with enrollment numbers.

Public info meeting on levy Aug. 19

A public information meeting on the Nov. 3 Perham school tax levy referendum has been scheduled for August 19.

The meeting, set for 7 p.m. in the new Perham City Hall meeting room, is intended to share information on the proposed levy hike--and also gather input from voters.