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Published December 18, 2012, 05:40 PM

Rothsay School officials react to referendum defeat

Rothsay, MN (WDAY TV) -- 12 votes was the difference in the defeat of a school referendum in Rothsay.

Rothsay, MN (WDAY TV) -- 12 votes was the difference in the defeat of a school referendum in Rothsay.

We're disappointed but we're not discouraged.

And Superintendent Wayne Schmidt say he's also happy to see the largest turnout ever in the district of 586 voters.

But he says the fact remains that the building that would have been replaced by the 24 million dollar referendum still has several code violations and that the district expect to continue to grow for the next 5 years.

Wayne Schmidt: "My advice to the board of education will be that we sit down with the people again and hold another public meeting and say OK we got the message now what do you want us to do?"

Some people we talked to around town that didn't want to go on camera felt that the referendum was brought up to fast and that the taxes on farmland in particular were to high.

Schmidt: "The farmland yes, especially those absentee land owners, those that own property in the district and can not vote, those people yes they took a high tax."

But Schmidt says that farmland values are way up and that is driving those taxes higher and that the district has to follow state law about how that land is taxed.

Schmidt: "It seems likely that another vote on renovating or replacing this building will be on the ballot again in the future."

The Rothsay School district has seen a 10 percent increase in enrollment over the last 2 years.

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