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West Central Tribune Minute: Willmar School Board adopts 3% tax increase

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Here’s a look at the top headlines from around west central Minnesota for Sept. 15, 2022.

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WILLMAR — Property taxes for Willmar Public Schools are expected to increase 3.3% next year.

The Willmar School Board adopted an $8.35 million preliminary property tax levy to be paid in 2023 at its meeting Monday.

The board voted to levy the maximum allowed by the state. The final levy will be adopted in December.

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Business and Finance Director Kathryn Haase said the state might make adjustments before December, and if the board set a specific dollar amount, it wouldn’t be able to make adjustments in December.

The preliminary levy, about $267,000 more than the levy on this year’s tax bills, makes up about 10% of the district’s total operating revenue.

Full story here.

Appleton starts new chapter with construction of new library

The City of Appleton hosted a traditional groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for the new library to occupy former elementary school classrooms in the 1952 Wing of the former Appleton Schools. Taking part in the ceremony on Sept. 12, 2022 are, from left: Cindy Hendrickx, head librarian; Dan Tosel, mayor; Andy Hoffmann, president, H + U Construction; Willie Morales, city administrator; and Paul Mellblom, principal, MSR Design. Appleton LibrarDSC_0031.JPG
The City of Appleton hosted a traditional groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for the new library to occupy former elementary school classrooms in the 1952 Wing of the former Appleton Schools. Taking part in the ceremony on Sept. 12, 2022 are, from left: Cindy Hendrickx, head librarian; Dan Tosel, mayor; Andy Hoffmann, president, H + U Construction; Willie Morales, city administrator; and Paul Mellblom, principal, MSR Design.
Tom Cherveny / West Central Tribune

APPLETON — Officials in Appleton say they are starting a new chapter in the city as they held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new library on Monday.

They view the $1.49 million project as a turning point for the city, which has been coping with economic challenges ever since the closing of the Prairie Correctional Facility in 2010.

Head Librarian Cindy Hendrickx emphasized that the new facility will offer a range of programming for people of all ages. There will be both meeting and “maker” spaces, she said, along with the traditional collection of books and access to the internet.

Full story here.

Parents complain about pride flags in Willmar elementary school; school says there are no pride flags

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Students walk to class after exiting Willmar school buses in this undated file photo.
West Central Tribune file photo

WILLMAR — A group of parents attended the Willmar School Board meeting to talk about their concern about LGBTQ pride flags displayed in school buildings.

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Abdiweli Yusuf, a parent, spoke for a group of about a dozen Somali-American parents who were at the meeting late Monday afternoon.

Yusuf told the board they were concerned about banners in elementary schools that appear to be pride flags.

School officials said Tuesday there are no pride flags in those schools.

Full story here.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email:
news@wctrib.com or phone 320-235-1150.
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