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Levy set, Lake Park-Audubon ready for Nov. 3 election

The Lake Park-Audubon School District on Monday set a preliminary levy of $774,118 for next year.

That's about $38,000 more than this year's levy of $736,300, the maximum increase allowed by state law.

the district is allowed to reduce the amount set Monday, but it cannot raise the levy amount.

There continue to be revisions of calculated levy amounts at the state level, so the actual levy amount will be set in December.

Residents now pay about $130 per year in total school taxes on a $100,000 residential homestead, one of the lowest levies in the region.

Lake Park-Audubon, which includes the Cormorant lakes area, is considered a property-rich district and as such does not qualify for state equalization aid, said Superintendent Dale Hogie.

A truth-in-taxation hearing will be heard as part of the regular school board meeting on Dec. 21.

The district has seen an increase in its tax base in recent years.

The tax base for a building bond levy is more than twice as large as the tax base for an operating levy referendum.

That's because seasonal properties and certain other properties are exempt from paying an operating levy, but do have to pay building bond levies.

The school district's building bond tax base was $823.5 million in 2007 and rose more than 12 percent to $930 million last year.

The district's tax base for an operating levy was $394 million in 2007 and increased 8.5 percent to $427.5 million in 2008.

The district is asking residents on Nov. 3 to approve a seven-year, $750-per-student operating levy referendum.

That would replace the current operating levy of $500 per student that expires next year. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 homestead about $39 per year.

The board named a half-dozen or so experienced election judges to man the polling places at the schools in Lake Park and Audubon, which will be open for voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.

In other action, the board:

• Set operating levy informational meetings. The first will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 in the north gym of the elementary school in Audubon.

The second will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26 in the high school theater at Lake Park.

• Approved cooperative sponsorship agreements with Hawley for wrestling and dance team.

LP-A has not been able to field a full wrestling team in recent years, and does not currently have a dance team.

The wrestling team will be known as the United Clay Becker Badgers, with LP-A serving as host district. Most practice sessions will be at Lake Park. The agreement covers this school year and next school year.

The dance team will be known as the United Clay Becker Mystix, with Hawley serving as the host district. The agreement covers this school year and next school year.

LP-A will pay from $1,500 to $2,500 (depending on the number of participants) for its share of the dance team.

Hawley will pay from $6,500 to $9,500 for the wrestling program, with shared expenses prorated to each district based on the number of participants.

• The district approved affiliation with the Pine-to-Prairie Conference for all sports except football beginning with the next school year. The school district has been trying to join the conference since 2005.

• Updated a number of policies to comply with state standards on Internet use and safety, student medication, bullying prohibition, drug-free schools, and equal employment opportunity. It also heard the first reading of a newly mandated policy on student discipline.