State legislators weigh helping Rushford-Peterson - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

State legislators weigh helping Rushford-Peterson build new school

Posted:
Rushford-Peterson High School Rushford-Peterson High School
R-P Supt. Chuck Ehler shows flood damage R-P Supt. Chuck Ehler shows flood damage

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- Five and a half years after flash floods damaged the high school in Rushford, state lawmakers are now considering whether to help Rushford-Peterson Public Schools pay for a new school building.

State taxpayers would contribute up to 75 percent of the cost of a new school building in Rushford, though not more than $20 million of the total cost of such a project, the way the current legislation is written. 

By a unanimous vote Tuesday morning, members of the House Education Finance Committee cleared H.F. 366 and sent it along its way.  On the Senate side, members of a committee reviewing education matters cleared S.F. 297 and marked it for possible inclusion in the omnibus Capital Investments bill.

Rushford-Peterson teamed up with Moose Lake Public Schools to make a concerted pitch for state help this legislative session to repair flood-damaged school buildings.  It follows the rejection of a local referendum in December by voters in the R-P district.

"I must say this is my fifth year at the Legislature," said Chuck Ehler, the R-P Schools Superintendent, after the House panel vote.  "But I was very pleased at how things went."

The House version was amended Tuesday morning to require a successful local referendum as a condition for any state money to be awarded to Rushford-Peterson Public Schools.  Back on Dec. 19, R-P voters rejected a $15 million bond proposal by a vote of 993 to 658.

The 106-year-old Rushford high school building was aging gracefully until the flooding of August 18-19, 2007.  Since then, R-P administrators have been urgently working to create a plan for new school facilities. 

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2001 - 2014 WorldNow and KTTC, a Quincy station.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Jodi Neyens at (507) 280-5104. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.