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Merrill could ask taxpayers for millions for schools; survey shows referendum supportSubmitted: 11/21/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Merrill could ask taxpayers for millions for schools; survey shows referendum support
MERRILL - Merrill could be the newest local school district to rely on referendum money in its school budget.

The district faces a $1.8 million dollar operating deficit for next school year, and it has had to take from savings for years to keep the school running.

"We've been making cuts, and we've gotten in the habit of making cuts. Unfortunately, we became very good at making cuts," said Superintendent Dr. John Sample.

A consultant's survey got more than 1,600 responses from people in the district. It shows two-thirds of respondents support some sort of referendum to help pay for schools.


"The survey showed that most of the community gets that whether you've got children or grandchildren currently as a student in the district [or not], that the district needs the community just as much as the community needs the district," Sample said.

The most popular option was raising $2.5 million per year over the next four years to support the current level of operations and support some additional ones, like tech ed and maintenance.

"As much as I think I know the community, because I'm out in the community as much as I possibly can be, it was still a huge sigh of relief and a very pleasant surprise [with] the outcome of the survey," Sample said.

Merrill's school board could approve a referendum plan as soon as December 6. The referendum question would be on the April ballot.

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