The Detroit Lakes City Council approved a preliminary 2020 city property tax levy of $5,745,991 at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

"That's a 4.5% increase over the 2018 levy," City Finance Officer Pam Slifka said.

However, she added, due to the fact that the city's tax base has increased 9% this year, "if your (property) valuation stays the same, you should see your taxes go down in stead of up."

The council also set a preliminary 2020 budget of $34,093,293 on Tuesday. Slifka said the budget committee had met seven times in August to establish the preliminary budget.

Both the proposed $34 million budget and $5.75 million levy will be reviewed at a public hearing at 6:01 p.m. Dec. 10, after which the final levy will be set. Though the final levy can be reduced from the preliminary amount, state law prohibits it from being increased.

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In other business, the council approved a $5,000 donation request from North Country Food Bank Inc., to be used for the purchase of a new facility in Grand Forks. North Country Food Bank supplies roughly 80% of the food distributed by the Becker County Food Pantry, which is based in Detroit Lakes.

Following approval of the request, the council discussed the fact that the Food Pantry is beginning to outgrow the space at its current facility, a city-owned building next to the Minnesota Flyers Gymnasium on Rossman Avenue.

Though Alderman Bruce Imholte said he, as a former Food Pantry board member, supports the city being involved in trying to find a larger space that better fits its current needs, he added that he would like to see the Becker County board get more involved in the process, as the Food Pantry benefits people throughout the county and not just in Detroit Lakes.