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Cambridge board affirms failed station referendum results

Former Village Board member Paula Hollenbeck also requested the recount of a failed second question that had sought to exceed the village's state levy limit. The recount will take place on April 16

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Cambridge’s village board has voted to uphold the results of its failed April 6 referendum for a proposed fire and EMS station expansion.

The board voted 6-1 on April 13, with Ted Kumbier dissenting, to ratify the results of the advisory referendum in which about 47 percent of village voters were in favor of helping to fund the $6.5 million proposed station expansion and about 53 percent were opposed.

Cambridge was proposed to be one of five area municipalities to share the project cost based on their equalized values. The others were the towns of Christiana, Oakland and Lake Mills and the village of Rockdale. An advisory referendum held on April 6 also failed in Oakland. Advisory referendums passed in Rockdale and the town of Lake Mills. And a binding referendum failed in Christiana.

Ratifying the election results, Village Administrator Lisa Moen said, meant that the board was affirming it would stand by the vote of residents.

Village board members on April 13 also discussed the possibility of a future station referendum, weighed possible reasons for this referendum’s failure and discussed possible next steps.

Kumbier expressed concern over losing the progress already made on plans for the station and possible challenges that the fire and EMS departments may face without this expansion.

Levy cap referendum recount

The village of Cambridge on April 6 also put a second referendum question before voters. It sought to exceed the village’s state-imposed tax levy limit by $95,000 a year in perpetuity, to fund fire and EMS and general village expenses.

That referendum failed in a tie, with 279 “yes” and 279 “no” votes.

The results will be recounted at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 16, based on a request from a former village board member. The recount will take place at the Amundson Community Center, 200 Spring St., in Cambridge.

Former Village Board member Paula Hollenbeck requested the recount, according to a release from the village.

In an email, Hollenbeck said the levy limit referendum “is needed for the village to be able to continue to provide services to our community. Since the vote was tied, I felt it was important to double check the vote tallies. It really is a due diligence effort.”

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