Residents of the St. Croix Central School District approved a 2019-2020 proposed tax levy of $7,665,501 and mill rate of .01052988 during the district's annual meeting on Monday, July 23.

The adopted tax levy will help the district support its proposed budget for the 2019-2020 school year, which includes $19,061,811 of expenditures in the General Fund 10, $4,080,327 of expenditures in the Debt Service Fund 30 and $430,000 of expenditures in the Community Fund 80. The district's unaudited Fund 10 total expenditures for the 2018-2019 school year was $18,410,072.

The total property tax levy approved during the meeting is a 12.67% increase from last school year, while the total expenditures increased to $27,311,791, a 5% increase from 2018-2019.

According to district business manager Jennifer Kleschold, the mill rate is estimated to increase to about $10.53 per $1,000 of value. That number was at around $10 per $1,000 of value in 2018-2019, according to Kleschold. That includes an estimated 7% increase in the district's property valuation.

One number that will likely change when the district sets its tax levy in October will be the per pupil adjustment aid. The district estimated the 2019-2020 increase of adjustment aid to be around $25, but with recent changes to the state budget, the increase is likely to be closer to $88. That would bring the per pupil adjustment aid to $742 per student.

Following the budget hearing led by Kleschold, district residents approved the tax levy and mill rate, as well as several other items, including:

• Authorise the school board to make temporary loans to meet obligations incurred up to $600,000.

• Authorize the school board to purchase supplemental student accident insurance for all pupils 4K-12 from First Agency, Inc.

• Authorize the school board to lease property, buildings and equipment not needed for school purposes.

• Establish compensation and expense reimbursement for board of education: president - $700; clerk - $700; treasurer - $700; all members - $50 per meeting, $60 per day outside district and $35 per committee meeting.

According to Superintendent Tim Widiker, the district leases property to a local farmer, which had been done with a three-year lease. However, with the current three-year agreement coming to an end this year, the district will be moving to a year-to-year agreement for the lease to allow the district more flexibility to use the land for school purposes.

The final item the district addressed was setting the date and time for the 2020 annual meeting, which was set to be held on Monday, July 27, at 7 p.m. at St. Croix Central Elementary.