WORTHINGTON — The Independent School District 518 Board of Education is preparing to levy its maximum authority to fund the 2020-2021 school year, which would generate about $2.7 million more tax revenue than in 2019.

The school board’s operations committee will recommend the full board approve an $8.8 million tax levy during next week’s regular board meeting. Last year’s levy was $6.2 million.

On Tuesday, Superintendent John Landgaard reported to operations committee members that the proposed increase is showing a 32.91% increase over last year’s levy. However, when comparing last year’s levy to this year’s without the referenda, the tax increase would reflect closer to 6.75%, he said.

The school board under-levied $1 million in 2017 and $500,000 in 2018.

A truth in taxation hearing is scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Worthington High School Media Center. The regular board meeting begins at 5:15 p.m. that night and will delay for the hearing. The regular meeting will resume following the hearing, in which the board will consider and approve its final levy.

A month since passing its three-question referendum, District 518 is also moving forward on its new intermediate school.

The operations committee will recommend approving an owner’s representative/project manager contract with ICS Consulting. The $1,170,000 contract will include basic services like pre-work and assigning a full-time on-site project manager until construction is completed.

The contract, including about $143,000 for commission work required by law, will amount to about 3.2% of the total project cost, Landgaard said.

“I think the contract is pretty much in line with what you’d expect to have to pay,” Landgaard said.

Intermediate school planning meetings will begin within the next week, and staff from Prairie Elementary and Worthington Middle School staff will be invited to participate. A survey will also be sent to staff that cannot attend the Dec. 17 meeting.

A construction committee including representation by District 518 administration, school board and staff will hit the road the following day to tour three existing sites to elicit ideas.

Planning will continue to prepare the site for bidding, which is hoped to occur in August 2020.

  • In other facility planning, the board is expected to consider bids for Trojan Field remodel during a 7:30 a.m. special board meeting Wednesday morning at the district administration office.