Voters in the Crosby-Ironton School District barely passed a $404 per pupil unit increase operating referendum Tuesday.
The referendum passed by 15 votes with 1,432 yes votes and 1,417 no votes. The other two questions, which each asked for an increase of $100 per pupil unit, failed.
The first $100 per pupil unit, which would have been used to finance technology, failed with 1,504 no votes and 1,333 yes votes, or a difference of 171 votes.
The second $100 per pupil unit increase, which would have been used to finance school textbooks and other curriculum materials, failed with 1,506 no votes and 1,329 yes votes, or a difference of 177 votes.
A total of 2,852 ballots were counted for a 43 percent voter turnout. The district picked up 214 new voters in this election.
C-I Superintendent Linda Lawrie said, "I felt all along that if we were lucky enough to pass it (the referendum), it would be very close. I'm so grateful it did pass."
Lawrie said she was disappointed that the last two questions failed because it was important to the students. However, she said since the first question passed, it will maintain the programs the school district has.
The district will receive $671,912 in revenue per year for 10 years with the first question passing. It will help move C-I out of statutory operating debt and will minimize the number of budget cuts in the coming school years.
With the $404 per pupil unit referendum, the district anticipates being out of statutory operating debt by the end of the 2004-05 school year and have an unreserved general fund balance of $466,082. At the end of the 2002-03 school year the district had a negative general unreserved fund balance of $691,270.
Lawrie said if the question would have failed the district would have had to make deep cuts for the 2004-05 school year. Lawrie said now that the referendum passed the administration will be meeting in the next few months to review its enrollment and class size to see how much it will need to cut.
"We will have to make cuts for next school year but it won't be as deep as it would have been without a referendum," said Lawrie.
With the $404 per pupil unit referendum passing, a homeowner with a $100,000 market value home will see a $77 increase in the 2004 school portion of property taxes.
The breakdown of the votes by precinct for the $404 per pupil unit question was 67 yes votes and 237 no votes at Mission Township Hall; 105 yes votes and 276 no votes at Emily City Hall; 456 yes votes and 377 no votes at Deerwood Auditorium; and 804 yes votes and 527 no votes at Crosby-Ironton High School.
The breakdown for the $100 per pupil unit technology question was 63 yes votes and 241 no votes at Mission Township Hall; 96 yes votes and 284 no votes at Emily City Hall; 424 yes votes and 406 no votes at Deerwood Auditorium; and 750 yes votes and 573 no votes at Crosby-Ironton High School.
The breakdown for the final question was 62 yes votes and 242 no votes at Mission Township Hall; 95 yes votes and 285 no votes at Emily City Hall; 419 yes votes and 409 no votes at Deerwood Auditorium; and 753 yes votes and 570 no votes at Crosby-Ironton High School.
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