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Tomah school referendum wins narrow victory

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TOMAH — It appears the Tomah School District referendum to override state-imposed revenue caps has narrowly passed.

With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, the referendum won by a vote of 1,547 to 1,516.

Superintendent Cindy Zahrte is cautiously optimistic the margin will stand.

“We’re saying the referendum won,” Zahrte said. “We’re saying it with just a little bit of caution.”

The referendum will allow the district to exceed the cap by $300,000 in 2014-15, $750,000 in 2015-16 and $1.5 million in 2016-17.

Zahrte said the referendum will allow the district to maintain programs. The Tomah School Board had proposed cutting a librarian, three classroom teachers and several extracurricular activities had the referendum failed.

School board president John McMullen said the narrow outcome sends a message to the board.

“Even with the referendum winning, we have to use that authority carefully and look for ways to save tax dollars,” McMullen said.

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