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District 518 approves operating levy amount

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WORTHINGTON — During a brief meeting Tuesday in the Worthington High School (WHS) media center, the District 518 Board of Education voted unanimously on a resolution to increase the operating levy amount by $13.40 more than what taxpayers with a property valued at $100,000 are currently paying a year. 

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The approved resolution will ask residents for a 10-year, $500 per-pupil-unit excess operating levy, which would bring a revenue increase of approximately $447,000.

“We wanted to stay with a number similar compared to last year’s referendum numbers, but we also wanted to accommodate inflationary cost,” said Superintendent John Landgaard.

During last month’s school board meeting, the board unanimously approved drafting a 10-year, $500 per-pupil-unit resolution after District Accounting Supervisor Pat Morphew gave a brief presentation on various options in seeking a levy.

At the June meeting, board member Mark Shepherd spoke in favor of the resolution, saying, “I would come down with the higher amount hoping that the board in the future does the same thing we’ve done in the past by not raising the amount if we don’t need it. That way, we can save expenses by not going through other elections.”

District 518 also approved a tax abatement application as part of the Nobles Home Initiative for Johnson Builders & Realty to construct a triplex in its Homewood Hills 10 Addition.

Each unit will be approximately 1,920 square feet with a two-stall attached garage. The triplexes’ cumulative estimated taxable value is $327,000, which would generate approximately $3,944 in annual taxes utilizing the 2014 tax rate. The city’s share would be approximately $1,250.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Community Education Director, Sharon Johnson, gave a presentation on the adult basic education (ABE) program.

She said the ABE department offers five different kinds of programming.

“The different programs are citizenship preparation, civics education, employment readiness, English as a second language and GED preparation,” Johnson listed.

The Community Education program manages the ABE programs for 13 school districts in southwest Minnesota.

Johnson reported that the program continues to grow during the 2014 fiscal year and that there were 843 participants — 36 more than last year — in the overall adult basic education program. Johnson ended the presentation by highlighting the citizenship preparation classes part of the program, stating that in the past two years since she has been in Community Education, 85 students have attained citizenship.

“Those are really strong numbers, and we’re very proud of that,” Johnson said.

She also said classes are available during the morning, afternoon and evening.

The meeting concluded with an announcement from Superintendent Landgaard that Bud’s Bus Service will be moved into the new bus garage this week, and there will be an open house of the newly constructed bus garage during the Nobles County Fair Aug. 8.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

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Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
(507) 376-7322
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