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Published August 10 2010

West Fargo School Board approves $89.2 million 2010-11 budget

West Fargo residents shouldn’t see a property tax increase from the school district under its budget for 2010-11.

School board members approved Monday night an $89.2 million budget and a mill levy of 170.64.

The mill levy remains unchanged over this year’s budget, so taxpayers with a $100,000 home will continue paying about $800 – assuming their property values haven’t changed.

Under the 2010-11 budget, the school district’s funds are poised to grow by about $875,000.

However, the budget figures don’t account for expenditures that have not yet come before the board – such as additional teacher positions that haven’t been approved or the cost of buying additional land south of Interstate 94.

Amendments will be brought to the board at a future date to approve those budget changes, said Mark Lemer, business manager for the district.

Also during Monday’s board meeting, district administrators received approval to negotiate the purchase of 10 to 12 acres of land in south West Fargo for a future elementary school site, at a cost of no more than $30,000 per acre.

The property lies in an area north of 32nd Avenue South and west of Veterans Boulevard that’s poised for development in the near future.

The West Fargo Park District is set to receive a dedicated patch of land in the development, which school board officials said they hoped would be near the would-be school property, so a portion of the site could be used jointly by the park district and the elementary school’s playground area.

Earlier Monday, the School Board met with senior administrators for much of the day at a retreat at Expressway Suites in south Fargo.

Topping the agenda: creating a long-term facilities plan that earns community backing and a strategic plan to guide the board’s decision-making over the next few years.

Superintendent David Flowers also discussed systems for board and superintendent relations, setting superintendent goals and possible methods to rate his work.

Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt contributed to this report

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541