SARTELL -- Voters in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district voted yes to a new operating levy Tuesday night.

The levy question passed by a 57 percent (3,047 yes votes) to 42 percent (2,276 no votes) margin in support of an increase of $1.77 million per year for the next 10 years.

The approval stands in contrast to last year, when a similar measure failed by 60 percent to 40 percent margin.

Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert says 1,000 more residents voted this year than last year and they believe it's because voters were more informed.

It's good that our community listened and made a decision. Of course, we're happy with the decision they made, but we're happier that they were informed about what they needed to do.

The levy will take effect next year, with funds supporting operations in the district's six buildings, academic and extracurricular programs and maintaining appropriate class sizes.

With the levy question passing, property taxes on a $200,000 home in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district will increase by $148 per year.

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