Referendum gives Lake Holcombe Schools new life

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HOLCOMBE, Wis (WEAU)--Holcombe voted to keep their school Tuesday night. The community of Holcombe agreed to pay a little more than $2 million in property taxes to help the school district pay bills and keep its doors open.

The vote secures the district financially for at least three more years.

“I’m proud to be a Chieftain and to grow up in this community,” Katelyn Omtvedt said.

Lake Holcombe Sophomores Danielle Gygi, Katelyn Omtvedt and Amanda Ewer are busy planning for next week, summer and now even for graduation.

“I think everyone in my class is really relieved because we get to graduate together, with everyone we grew up with,” Danielle said.

It's the same story up and down the halls at Lake Holcombe Schools.

District Administrator Tom Goulet says fewer students, rising costs of operations and less state aid left the school in a financial crisis. A crisis the referendum gives them time to solve.

“In three years it’s up to the voters to decide again. They can decide whether to dissolve or co-op with another school or maybe they won’t have to do anything because the economy turns around or the state settles it’s self on how it handles education,” Goulet said.

The District says keeping the doors open benefits not only the 350 students but the community. The school is one of Holcombe’s biggest employers.

“The school building is the community,” Referendum Committee Member Barb VanDoorn said.

Property owners in the district will have to pay a 9.94% school tax over the next three years. That averages out to around $168 on a $100,000 home.