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'Yes' vote carries the day in Frazee-Vergas

The Frazee-Vergas School Board can put away its well-used budget-cutting knives, at least for a few years -- the operations levy referendum passed on Tuesday.

And it passed in commanding fashion, with 1,600 voting "yes' and 1,006 voting "no."

"It's huge in terms of what it means for the kids of this district," said Nancy Dashner, who has been on the school board for 12 years. "I'm personally looking forward to getting back to the business of education."

Here's how the vote broke down in each of the school districts' three precincts:

Frazee -- 853 yes to 365 no.

Vergas -- 318 yes to 190 no.

Height of Land -- 429 yes to 451 no.

The referendum gives the district permission to levy an additional $1,000 per student unit for five years, which will generate about $1 million per year.

The district has cut $2.5 million and laid off 17 teachers over the past five years. It would have had to cut another $800,000 next year had the referendum failed.

It will cost the owner of a $100,000 house about $222 per year.

"A great big 'thank you' for pulling together," said Superintendent Deron Stender. "For recognizing that the future of our kids is very important, for placing value on education. They can trust that this board and this administration will do everything we can to make this district better, stronger and more competitive."