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A 6.3% LP-A levy hike

The Lake Park-Audubon School Board approved a final 2012, payable 2013 district property tax levy of $2,556,797 at its Monday night meeting in Lake Park.

The final levy was the maximum allowed by the state, a $151,829 (6.31 percent) increase over last year's total.

According to LP-A Superintendent Dale Hogie, about a third of the total levy increase was for health and safety; specifically, for improvements at the elementary school in Audubon.

"Our total property taxes are actually a little lower than Ehlers and Associates had predicted they would be," said board member Bryan Anderson.

The levy approved at Monday's meeting represents about $282 in taxes on a $100,000 home, which is lower than the group average of school districts in this area of the state, Anderson added.

"The group average is $328, and the state average is $351 (on a $100,000 home)," he said. "The only two districts in the immediate area that are lower than we are, are Pelican Rapids ($188) and Detroit Lakes ($202)."

Also at Monday's meeting, the board approved a new two-year master contract for the district principals, retroactive to July 1. The contract calls for a 2 percent increase in the principals' base salary for each year of the contract. Also approved at the meeting was a motion to set a salary of $44,179 for the district's technology coordinator, Bob Henderson, beginning on Jan. 1.

Previously, Henderson had been an hourly wage employee, and had accumulated an average of 57.33 overtime hours per year, Hogie noted -- but with the district's increased technology needs, the amount of time needed to do his job has also escalated.

"He has accumulated over 100 overtime hours since July 1," Hogie noted, adding that he doesn't expect the demands on Henderson's time to decrease in the future, as the district's technology needs are likely to become greater, not less.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454