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Blackduck board sees small tax boost

Kari Slindee tells the Blackduck School Board that the recent school 'yard sale' brought in more than $1,000 from the sale of old desks, books and other items cleaned from the storage space inside and out of the school building. The board encouraged another try next year and heard Slindee voice appreciation for the cooperation of student groups, custodial and administration staff.

A property tax increase of less than a quarter of one percent was given preliminary approval by the Blackduck School Board Monday evening. Overall it would add about $2,000 to cover a projected increase in debt service costs, while levies for the general budget and community service would see slight decreases.

Final budget approval will not come until the December board meeting, but no increases can be made after Monday's action.

The board learned that elementary school enrollment on the first day of school was 340, that 53 youngsters are now enrolled in kindergarten, and that to date there have been 18 students transferred out of the district and 12 coming here from other districts for a net loss of six.

Superintendent Robert Doetsch said current enrollment includes 106 students who live outside the Blackduck district.

After a lengthy discussion about the future availability of players for the Drakes football team, board chairman Dale Compton directed that it be put on the October board meeting agenda.

In 1962, Tom Lenz drove up from his home in the Twin Cities and pitched a tent during hunting season. It was on the old O'Brien School property, and Lenz kept coming back in the nearly 50 years since.

When the Bemidji district made a 'grab' to claim the property, and with prodding from O'Brien Township resident Lyle Gustafson, Blackduck proved ownership and last Friday sold the property at auction.

The buyer was Tom Lenz, whose $15,600 bid was accepted. After legal fees and other expenses, the Blackduck district will net over $14,000 and Lenz can now camp there on land he can claim as his own.