The Wadena-Deer Creek School board Monday night approved a levy increase of $107,537 (a 5.52 percent increase over last year) for a total levy of $2,054,650.
The levy can be broken down into three areas including $1,228,120 (a 16.48 percent increase) towards the general fund; $48,940 (a decrease of 18.12 percent) to the community service fund; and $777,591 (a decrease of 6.65 percent) to the debt service fund.
Reasons behind the increase could be linked back to several general fund adjustments that the state makes, according to WDC School business manager Brian Jacobson. In one area, based on the number of students in a district, the levy increased by $22,818; long-term facilities adjustments resulted in an increase in $100,254; and a net tax capacity levy increase resulted in a $24,445 increase.
Other areas of change included the community service levy, which saw a decrease of $10,832, a decrease of 18.12 percent from 2018. Also, in the WDC School district, Ag2School will reduce 2019 property taxes in the district by approximately $77,592, Jacobson reported. The estimated amount for a $5,000 acre of land is $1.71 for homestead ag and $3.43 for non-homestead land.
With no one from the public commenting on the levy during the public hearing, council members unanimously approved it without further discussion.
Changing of hands
Approving the levy is a monumental event each year, but losing three school board members is more unusual event that had to occur Monday night as well.
WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum personally thanked the three board members going off the board including Jil Fiemeyer who served for four years; Wayne Perkins who served for 12 years and Ann Pate who served for 16 years. Fiemeyer and Perkins chose not to file, while Pate did not earn enough votes among the seven other applicants for the seat. Westrum thanked them for their work in helping the district make it through a tornado, rebuilding a new school and remodeling another. Board chair Kent Schmidt also thanked the three for their service.
"It's been a pleasure to work with all three of you," Schmidt said.
The three were awarded with plaques for their service and were welcomed to enjoy cake and refreshments following the meeting.
By the numbers
Here's a look at the levy changes seen over the last 10 years at the WDC school district.
Levy date Levy amount percent inc (dec)
2009 (pay 2010) $1,737,677 44.56 %
2010 (pay 2011) $1,533,993 (11.72 %)
2011 (pay 2012) $1,581,806 3.12 %
2012 (pay 2013) $1,468,173 (7.18%)
2013 (pay 2014) $1,391,889 (5.20 %)
2014 (pay 2015) $1,215,172 (12.70%)
2015 (pay 2016) $1,292,330 6.35 %
2016 (pay 2017) $1,334,220 3.24 %
2017 (pay 2018) $1,947,113 45.94 %
2018 (pay 2019) $2,054,650 5.52 %