In his report to the Pequot Lakes School Board, Superintendent Chris Lindholm confirmed that the district has had some positive cases of COVID-19 among staff and students. Though he believes the district has it under control, he encouraged everyone to prepare for changes as Crow Wing County cases are “trending in the wrong direction.”

“We have been able to send home the folks that were in close contact with them and they are isolating,” Lindholm said. “It wasn’t anything that seemed out of control from what we can tell. Families should, however, be preparing now for the possibility that we may have to quickly switch to distance learning for a two-week school-wide quarantine period … We are seeing that happen across the state, and it is highly likely that we will have to do that at some point.”

Also during its Monday, Sept. 21, meeting, the school board unanimously approved its preliminary tax levy for the coming year.

The board agreed to set the “maximum” levy option of $6,092,278 - a $17,920 (0.3%) increase from the previous levy. Lindholm reminded the board that this does not necessarily mean everyone will see a 0.3% increase to their property taxes.

“We know that the community in our area has grown, which means that increase is spread out over more households,” Lindholm said. “So it really is like no impact to the homeowner.”

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The board will approve a final levy in its December meeting. At that time, it can decrease the levy amount if it chooses, but it cannot increase it.

In other action Monday, the board:

  • Approved a memorandum of understanding with Education Minnesota-Pequot Lakes, pertaining to the new school year. Included in the memorandum are agreements between EMPL and the district regarding the formation of a COVID-19 sick leave bank, stipends for unused personal days and working remotely when necessary.

  • Accepted three donations to the district, including 85 gallons of hand sanitizer.

  • Set its annual truth in taxation meeting for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, with the board’s regular meeting to follow.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.