Minneota voters approve technology levy, but not building bond
Ivanhoe school operating referendum fails
On Tuesday, voters in both the Minneota and Ivanhoe School Districts were headed to the polls for special elections. In Minneota, the ballot included questions on a technology levy and a building referendum, while Ivanhoe had a single question on an operating referendum for Lincoln Elementary School.
Minneota voters approved the technology levy, but not the $7.6 million building referendum. Meanwhile, voters in the Ivanhoe district rejected a proposal to increase the district’s current per-pupil operating referendum.
Minneota election results
The Minneota district had a special election with a two-question ballot. According to unofficial vote tallies, a proposal for a $500,000 annual technology levy passed, while a proposed $7.6 million building bond failed.
“They had a good turnout,” with more than 700 people casting votes, said Minneota Superintendent Dan Deitte.
The first question on the ballot was a technology levy of $500,000 a year for 10 years. Deitte said the technology levy would be used to fund and enhance technology throughout Minneota schools. It would affect everything from Minneota’s one-to-one technology program for students, to equipment for career and technical education and infrastructure like computer servers.
The technology levy passed with 384 “yes” votes and 321 “no” votes, according to unofficial tallies.
Deitte said he was “very thankful” to the taxpayers for passing the technology levy. “Technology has become such a big thing in schools,” he said, and costs for the district are rising. The levy would be enough to not only help cover costs, but also to enhance the technology available at Minneota, Deitte said.
The second question on the ballot was a $7.6 million building referendum that would fund several updates to Minneota school facilities, including building a cafetorium, adding permanent restrooms at the football field, and replacing the school’s playground and parking lot.
Currently, Minneota students eat lunch in the school’s 2003 gymnasium. Deitte said the use of lunch tables in the gym was causing damage to the floors. The “cafetorium” in the building proposal would be a cafeteria space combined with a stage.
The building referendum received 325 “yes” votes and 379 “no” votes, according to unofficial tallies.
“We’ll have to look at it again, and rethink what we want to do,” Deitte said.
Deitte said the last time Minneota passed a building bond was in 2017.
Voters in the Ivanhoe School District had a special election Tuesday to decide on whether to revoke the district’s current operating referendum and increase the referendum amount. A proposal to increase the per-pupil operating referendum to the maximum allowed for the district failed, with 104 “yes” votes and 170 “no” votes, unofficial vote tallies said.
Ivanhoe Superintendent Dan Deitte said the district currently has an operating referendum in place, but additional funding would help support educational programs at Lincoln Elementary School in Ivanhoe. The school has about 90 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, Deitte said.
With the referendum failing, Deitte said he would need to go back to the Ivanhoe School Board and discuss plans for the school’s future.
“We’ll have to decide what we want to ask for in the future,” Deitte said.
“We thank everyone for coming out and voting,” he said.