It's Tuesday, Nov. 5, and all around McLeod County voters headed to polls to decide several special school elections. Below is a list of area school districts holding elections, along with results as they become available
HUTCHINSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The Hutchinson elementary bond referendum narrowly passed 1,630-1,512, according to results posted on the school district's website Wednesay morning.
The school district will move forward with a $28.8 million plan to renovate Park and West Elementary buildings. For more information on that plan, click here.
LITCHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Litchfield School District voters approved two of three referendum questions Tuesday, agreeing to tax increases for educational programming and building improvements.
But voters soundly rejected the third ballot question, an $11.43 million bond to fund construction of a new swimming pool, as well as a soccer field and other items.
"We are overwhelmed and deeply grateful to Litchfield School District voters for approving two ballot questions seeking investments in our schools," Superintendent Beckie Simenson wrote in an email sent to district parents after the vote totals were announced. "Moving forward, we will be able to protect class sizes, educational programming, activities and athletics from future budget cuts. Further, we will be able to make major improvements in our schools that will support a dynamic curriculum, improve safety and address deferred maintenance issues that extend the life of our existing school buildings."
The first question on Tuesday's ballot was for an excess levy to provide an additional $625 per pupil for general education expenses.
Voters easily approved that, with 1,584 "yes" votes to 1,065 "no" votes.
The vote was much closer on Question 2 — 1,400 "yes" to 1,248 "no" — which allows for $32.9 million in bonding for building improvements throughout the district. According to the referendum question, the bond will fund "construction of improvements to the overall traffic flow, the creation of secure entries, the repurposing and creation of educational spaces, the repurposing and creation of common spaces, the completion of various deferred maintenance projects and the acquisition of furniture, fixtures and equipment."
Both of the first two questions had to be approved in order for Question 3 to be approved. But that did not happen, as the question was rejected 1,528-1,110.
"While the ballot question for an expanded pool and other athletic investments was not approved, we will continue to explore options to develop a new plan to address the needs of our swimmers, soccer players and broader community," Simenson wrote in her email. "Thank you to all who took part in the planning process for Litchfield Public Schools and everyone who voted in the referendum. This plan will allow us to build on the district’s proud past to sustain a promising future for all learners."
GLENCOE-SILVER LAKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The Glencoe-Silver Lake School District's operating levy passed 1,130-741, according to unofficial results posted on the school district's website.
We will update this story with the official results when they are available.
Voters approved a $283.12 increase per pupil for GSL schools, bringing the total to $460 per pupil. The money will be used to maintain programs and services and keep on track with district policy that dictates it maintains a 20 percent fund balance for financial security. The amount requested would also maximize state aid and provide an additional $113,000.
The levy increase will add $57 in taxes per year on a home valued at $150,000, bringing it up from $40 per year to $97 per year. The tax does not impact agricultural land.
Tuesday's results were a stark contrast from 2018, when voters denied a $460-per-pupil levy increase. The difference was voter turnout. The 2018 referendum was voted down 2,850-2,190 and had 3,169 more voters compared to Tuesday's election.