Carlton, Wrenshall set preliminaries levies at maximum

District officials followed recommendations by the Minnesota Department of Education, but each expects the final levy for 2021 to decrease.

The Carlton School Board voted to set its levy to the maximum allowable by state during its meeting Monday, Sept. 21. (File / Pine Journal)

The Carlton and Wrenshall school boards both voted to set their preliminary levies to the maximum allowed by the state.

The Minnesota Department of Education has yet to determine the amount, but the action is recommended by MDE, Carlton Business Manager Norman Nelis said during the Carlton meeting Monday, Sept. 21. Once the 2020-21 preliminary budget is complete, the levy can be adjusted down, but it can’t be raised.

Nelis told the Carlton board that current numbers show the district will actually see a 2.6% decrease in the levy for 2021. If those numbers hold, this will be the second consecutive year of levy decreases for Carlton taxpayers.

Jennifer Chmielewski was the only Carlton board member to vote against the action.

Carlton set its truth-in-taxation meeting for 6:30 p.m. December 16.


The Wrenshall School District voted to set its preliminary levy to the maximum during its meeting Sept. 14, but expects the final 2021 levy to be lower than the 2020 amount. (Pine Journal file photo)

The Wrenshall School Board unanimously voted to set its levy to the maximum during its meeting Sept. 14.

Wrenshall Business Manager Angela Anderson said she also expects her district’s levy to decrease once the final numbers come in.

“I don’t have the specific number yet of what the levy amount will be, but the preliminary numbers show that it looks like it’s going to be going down,” Anderson said.

Wrenshall’s levy saw a jump of nearly 44% in 2020 as a result of the $9.3 million health and safety bond the board approved to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and to make fire suppression upgrades at the school.

Carlton taxpayers saw a similar jump in the levy in 2019 after the district approved its own health and safety bond in 2018 to make upgrades at South Terrace Elementary School.

The Wrenshall board set its truth-in-taxation meeting for 6 p.m. Dec. 9.

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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