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NY Mills school celebrates levy victory

On Nov. 2, residents of the New York Mills Public School District approved a state-equalized referendum levy to aid in providing quality programs to students.

The first question on the ballot was to revoke the former operating levy of $200.29 per student and replace it with $450 per student. The question passed by a margin of 62 votes.

The second question proposed to increase the district's referendum revenue authorization by an additional $75 per pupil for technology improvements.

Although the second question passing was contingent upon the first, it lost by a margin of 92 votes, with 53.35 percent of taxpayers voting "no."

The $450 operating levy is applicable for five years unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law.

At this month's Civic and Commerce Association meeting, Superintendent and Elementary School Principal Todd Cameron was praised for his efforts by members of the association.

"This was definitely a grassroots effort," he said. "A pass is a pass and a win is a win. We are soaring like an eagle should soar."


The school board held a special meeting on Nov. 5 for canvassing election results. The school board does not meet again until Monday, Nov. 22, but they are mandated by law to ratify the results of the election by Thursday, Nov. 11.

It was also the first day that districts in Minnesota can ratify the results of the election.

Shortly after the meeting, Cameron said the vote was also about the community and the school working together.

"This wasn't about any new programs," he said. "It was about keeping everything in place. It provided us with stability to continue the programs that we have."

Cameron noted that this is contingent on the state Legislature in the spring. Decisions regarding the budget could change drastically, putting schools with or without an operating levy in a reactionary mode, Cameron said.

"If the state decides to cut education, all districts are back to looking at their budgets," he said. "I'm not looking at getting teachers fired. I'm looking at keeping our teachers employed."

Cameron went on to thank the community for supporting the district.

"We look forward to providing a quality education for our children," he said. "We are elated and humble. I'm a taxpayer myself and I put myself in other peoples' shoes all the time. As a taxpayer, it's nice to see local dollars staying local. You get to see where your money is going - to enhance education opportunities for our kids. I can say that with a smile on my face."