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Bemidji School Board: Real estate agency selected, final levy certified

The Bemidji School Board has selected a Bemidji real estate agency to provide services regarding four vacant properties owned by the Bemidji School District.

On Monday, the board voted unanimously to retain the services of Century 21 Dickinson Realtors of Bemidji out of four proposals received.

Also Monday, the board voted unanimously to certify the final tax levy for 2009 for the district.

With Century 21 Dickinson Realtors, the district will enter into a Multiple Listing Services contract for the sale of the former Community Education building located at 1420 Beltrami Ave. N.W. The real estate agency would receive 6 percent commission for the sale of the property.

The district will also obtain an appraisal from the real estate agency for 4.1 acres located at First Street and Grant Avenue Southeast in the Lake Bemidji south shore area. The appraisal will cost $350.

Additionally, the district will obtain Realtors Letters of Estimated Value from the real estate agency for 2 acres northwest of Blackduck and 1 acre northwest of Bemidji near Nelson Dam. Each letter will cost $100.

Final levy certified

Earlier in Monday's meeting, the board certified an $8.84 million tax levy for 2009, which is a 2.56 percent increase from the 2008 levy of $8.62 million.

In September, the board set the preliminary levy limit for 2009 at the maximum amount at the time - $7.25 million. Since then, voters approved renewing the district's current operating levy of $501 per pupil for another five years. With the passage of the Nov. 4 referendum, the district's tax levy authority rose to $9.54 million.

With the board's vote Monday, the district will under levy that amount by nearly $700,000 as recommended by Chris Leinen, the district's director of business services. He said the district has under levied each year of the current five-year operating levy and he recommended that the board continue to under levy for 2009.

Leinen said the amount the district will under levy in 2009 is roughly 8 percent of the $8.84 million levy. He added that the board could levy the nearly $700,000 in the future.

Of the 2009 levy, $4.34 million, or 49 percent, will be for the general fund; $4.14 million, or 47 percent, will be for debt service and $359,469, or 4 percent, will be for Community Education.