Sartell-St. Stephen Looks to Move Forward After Levy Defeat
SARTELL -- After voters shot down a proposed operational levy for the new Sartell High School last month, the district is looking for move forward, and hear from their constituents.
The levy was defeated 60-40 in the general election. The district brought this levy to voters two-years after the original levy to build the high school. State law does not allow the district to use that money toward the operation of the school.
Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert says one reason they decided to hold off on this levy, was to make sure they weren't hitting taxpayers with two bills at once.
"The law requires that if we would have levied this back in 2016, we would have had to asses the tax then, even though we didn't need the money until 2019."
He says they've already had some feedback from voters since the election.
"[Some have said] we need to tighten our belts at home, so we need to see how the school district can tighten its belt. And I think that's a good one for people to ask us - can we find this money from some other source."
The district -- for now -- has no plan to just redo the levy in the 2020 election. Schwiebert says the district knows they now need to listen to their community.
"I think we have to first sit back and listen to our community. There's nothing more demeaning to our community than for us to say 'oh you just didn't figure it out the first time, so we're going to bring it back to you again' we need to take the time to step back and listen to what they have to say."
To that end, the district will be holding a series of community meetings to make sure Sartell-St. Stephen voters can give their input.
The first one is Thursday at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course. The second is at St. Stephen City Hall on Monday, then next Wednesday they'll be at Liquid Assets, and the final one is Tuesday the 18th at the Sartell Community Center.
All community meetings will be from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.