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A nearly 20 percent levy increase could be in the cards for the Brainerd School District. School board members, during their Monday, Sept. 24 board meeting, set the 2019 preliminary levy at the maximum amount allowed by state statute, per administrative recommendation. Right now, that number stands at 19.86 percent, or about $3.9 million higher than 2018. Marci Lord, director of business services, explained how that figure could fluctuate until Oct. 1, when final property tax statement numbers will be reported to the counties.
The Brainerd School District's field trip policy received some updates during the Monday, Sept. 24, school board meeting. Major updates include employees being able to use personal vehicles to transport students in the event of emergency and a new bullet point list of procedures to be followed on each field trip.
NISSWA—"Grand View does it again. It's as simple as that." With a nearly $50 million expansion project in the works, Nisswa's Grand View Lodge stands out as one of the top tourist destinations in the lakes area, according to John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota tourism. "This certainly is very unique for Minnesota. It's a one-of-a-kind place," Edman said of Grand View. "It really brings forth the concept of a resort, but in a new and a different way, providing all the amenities that consumers are looking for today."
BAXTER—"Reading is fun, and reading is exciting, and reading is very, very important." That was the message Baxter Elementary School Principal Tammy Stellmach emphasized to her students during an assembly Monday, Sept. 17. First- through fourth-graders donned matching red shirts bearing "Thing 1," "Thing 2," "Thing 3" and "Thing 4" to promote this year's reading theme: "Reading is the thing to do" at Baxter Elementary.
Discussion on Brainerd's liquor ordinance continued Monday, Sept. 17, when city staff presented council members with a draft of previously agreed-upon changes. A special council workshop in June resulted in several ordinance amendments, including the removal of liquor zones and creation of a three-tiered classification system of establishments selling. Council members also agreed to set a strict cap on the number of bars in town and formulate a definition of what constitutes a restaurant.
To create some wiggle room in the budget, Brainerd City Council members set the city's preliminary 2019 levy at a 6 percent increase from 2018. The final levy—which the council will set in December—can be lower, but not higher, than the preliminary number, which comes to $5,895,572. Council members Gabe Johnson and Sue Hilgart opposed the 6 percent levy and instead wanted to set the number at 2.8 percent.
A variety of specialty health care services are now available in one location, just off Highway 210 in Baxter. Community members flocked to the 15,000-square-foot CentraCare Specialty Clinic on Forthun Road Monday, Sept. 17, during an open house to speak with providers and learn about the services offered in six fields: brain and spine care, kidney care, plastic surgery, heart care, urology and wound care.
I am so happy the last few weeks are over. I've just completed the dreaded task that no one (at least that I've met) likes to do; I just moved. Though the process was stressful and a bit of a hassle, I found an unexpected source of help—the internet. OK, so the internet didn't physically help me move all of my belongings from Pequot Lakes to Brainerd, but it did help me find a new apartment and furnish it at an affordable price.
Middle and high school attendance rates are a concern in the Brainerd School District, but administrators are working on a solution. Sue Anderson, Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System data coordinator in the district, told school board members at their Monday, Sept. 10, meeting about the Every Student Succeeds Act, legislation President Barack Obama signed into law in December 2015 to replace the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act.
About $40,000. That's the amount of money Jill Bjorge hopes to raise for next year's summer reading program in the Brainerd School District. Bjorge, the district's elementary literacy coordinator and trainer, shared with school board members Monday, Sept. 10, the success of this past year's revamped summer reading program.