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School levy increase at 3 percent

Randy Bergquist

At a special board meeting Wednesday, Sept. 27, Osakis School Board members approved the maximum tax levy of $1,695,474.

Superintendent Randy Bergquist said in an interview Thursday that the school district always requests the maximum for the preliminary levy as it can always be lowered. However, once the preliminary levy is approved, the district can't raise it.

The 2017 payable 2018 preliminary levy is up about 3.2 percent from the 2016 payable 2017 levy, which was $1,641,830. Bergquist said the 3 percent is "pretty normal" for school districts.

A breakdown of the levy shows $490,216 for the General Fund; $47,659 for Community Service; $1,078,586 for General Debt Service; and $79,013 for OPEB Debt Service.

The school district could approve up to $724 per pupil unit for its referendum value, but that the board approved $300, which is well below the state average.

He said he also pointed out to school members that the school district receives more money from the state instead of from taxpayers. He said the district doesn't want to burden the taxpayers. The referendum levy amount from the state is $166,000, while the levy amount from the taxpayers is $103,000.

The final levy will be approved at annual Truth in Taxation meeting, which has been set for Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste Edenloff, a reporter for the Echo Press, has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from May of 1999 to February 2011, and is happy to be back and once again sharing the stories of the people in this community. Besides being a reporter, Celeste is a certified fitness instructor and enjoys teaching bootcamp classes through Snap Fitness. She also enjoys running and has participated in more than 170 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.


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