Property taxes in the Detroit Lakes school district will go up $217,968 next year, to $9,015,836. This 2.48% increase was certified by the Detroit Lakes School Board at its Monday night meeting.
The total levy includes $4,937,247 for the general fund; $231,111 for community education; and $3,866,948 for debt service. Earlier in the evening, School Board Chair Amy Erickson and District Business Manager Ryan Tangen conducted a public hearing on the proposed budget and levy. This hearing was held in the Detroit Lakes City Council Chambers, rather than the board's regular meeting venue at the George Simson Auditorium inside Detroit Lakes Middle School.
As Erickson explained at both the public hearing and the subsequent board meeting, the two events were held at separate locations because the date and location of the public hearing were set before the board began holding its meetings at the middle school.
Also at Monday night's meeting, the board approved the 2019-2020 school district audit, as presented by Derek Flanagan of Eide Bailly. Flanagan made his presentation remotely, as he was unable to be present for the meeting in person. He noted that the district had received a "clean," or unmodified, opinion, which meant that no inaccuracies were found, and all district financial statements were prepared using generally accepted accounting principles. Flanagan also noted that the district received another clean opinion with regard to its records for the expenditure of just under $2.4 million in federal funds over the past year.
In other business, the board members recognized colleague Jane Foltz for her four years of service; Foltz opted not to seek re-election for a second term on the board this fall. Her successor, Courtney Henderson, was in attendance at the meeting, though she sat in the audience.
The board also honored former Rossman Elementary and Callaway kindergarten teacher Colleen Knoop, who passed away on Dec. 15 after battling cancer.