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DPS School Board approves certificate of levy

Richard Benz expresses his concern to the school board during a public hearing Monday evening (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson Public School Board voted unanimously to increase the property tax levy by 7.85 percent Monday during a public hearing prior to its regular meeting discussing levy costs for the 2017-2018 school year.

In his first meeting as Dickinson Public Schools business manager, Kent Anderson detailed the increases by breaking down what a resident will spend based on their property assessment. For example, property of valued at $100,000 home will see a yearly tax difference of $37, a property worth $175,000 will see a $65 yearly difference and a home valued at $250,000 will see a $93 yearly difference.

This year, Anderson estimates the total amount of mills levied will be 104.38, a 13.48 mill increase from the year before.

When asked for public participation, only one resident rose to the podium to express his concern.

"I guess my concern as an older citizen in town is that things keep going up every year," Richard Benz said. "MDU raised their fixed charge for your household gas; that went up $4 a year. The City of Dickinson is looking a six or seven bucks a month to do recycling and you have the school district thing going up every year. As people get older and they're on a fixed income, it gets tougher and tougher to cope with these things."

As a response, DPS superintendent Doug Sullivan reassured the public that every measure has been taken to cut costs.

"We did collapse some classrooms this year and hired less classroom teachers in grades K-5," Sullivan said. "But that was offset by having to hired additional teachers in other grade levels." Sullivan noted that the district has "increasing enrollment."

The school board voted unanimously to approve the certificate of levy of $17.6 million.

Budget numbers approved

• General fund expenditures—$44,457,024

• Capital projects fund expenditures—$14,947,017

• Debt services fund expenditures—$4,632,512

• Food services fund expenditures—$1,874,722

Patrick Bernadeau

Patrick Bernadeau is a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press. He can be reached at his office number (701) 456-1211 or email him at pbernadeau@thedickinsonpress.com. Joining the Dickinson Press in July 2017, he was previously a freelance sports writer for Treasure Coast Newspapers (TCPalm.com) in Stuart, FL as well as carrying bylines from the Associated Press, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, Florida Today and Naples Daily News. Prior to his move to Dickinson, he resided in Port St. Lucie, FL, earning a Bachelor's Degree from Florida Atlantic University. Patrick was born and raised in Brockton, Mass and is an avid Boston sports fan. Born to Haitian parents, Patrick's favorite meal is Griot with Banana Peze, Pikliz (Fried pork with smashed plaintains and a spicy vegetable relish) and a tall glass of Cherry Coke.

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