Maquoketa Valley School District’s request for an increase in the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) failed last week with 49.48 percent, coming up five votes short of passage.
The 192 votes in favor of the PPEL weren’t enough to offset 196 no votes.
The district asked voters to approve an additional .33 cents to the current PPEL. The additional revenue would have been used to remodel the entry ways of the three elementary buildings in the district as well as for student technology.
“What we will do now is go back and re-prioritize and take a look with the PPEL and SAVE (Secure and Advanced Vision for Education) dollars that we have, and take a look at what we want and need and can get done,” said Maquoketa Valley Superintendent Doug Tuetken. “Our decisions will still center around what’s in the best interest of our kids.”
The Maquoketa Valley vote had only a single voting site in Delhi. Tuetken said district officials made sure voters could have an absentee voting option if they didn’t want to travel to Delhi.
“That was something that was a little unique. I felt it was important that everyone in the district knew this vote was going to take place. The county auditor sent out absentee ballots so that every eligible voter in our district knew this vote was going to happen. We wanted to be completely transparent. This gave everyone an opportunity to vote if they wished to do so.”
Tuetken said the district will take some time before bringing the vote up again. “We will have a discussion with the board to see where we want to go.”
Tuetken said the district levy rate of $10.57 per $1,000 is important to him and the board. “We do not want to increase our levy rate any more than we have now, so we will have to sit back for a year or two and see if we want to bring it back to the voters. But I do know we don’t want to do anything that is going to increase our school levy rate.”