While the final number could be changed before the final general levy is certified in November, the current proposal is for a total net levy of $1,607,385, which is an increase of $328,906 over the 2015 actual levy. That reflects a 26 percent increase.

The Redwood Area Board of Education took action at its meeting Monday that local units of government have all been doing over the past few weeks.

After a brief presentation by John Sellevold, school district finance director, the school board approved its preliminary levy for the 2016-17 school year, which would be collected in 2016.

The school board approved what is known as the maximum levy for the coming year. That number is certified by the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education.

“This is the maximum allowed under law,” said Sellevold.

While the final number could be changed before the final general levy is certified in November, the current proposal is for a total net levy of $1,607,385, which is an increase of $328,906 over the 2015 actual levy. That reflects a 26 percent increase.

According to Selle-vold, the majority of the levy increase is in what is known as long-term facilities maintenance.

This is a new category for districts that was made possible by the state legislature and allows districts to issue bonds for a limited amount of funds for maintenance projects without a required levy referendum. The amount approved for 2016 is $178,328.

The new category replaces several others in the general fund, including the integration, health and safety and deferred maintenance levies, said Sellevold, adding the funds can also be collected for basic maintenance needs and can be reserved for larger projects.

In addition to the general fund, Sellevold said the school district is going to see a 42 percent increase in its debt service levy. The amount it would collect is $1,596,973, which is a $475,870 increase over the debt service actual levy that was collected in 2015.

Sellevold explained that increase reflects the first levy funding being collected to pay for the recently completed roof project at RVMS/HS.

While there is an opportunity to reduce the levy prior to final certification, Sellevold cautioned the board that it needs to not only look at the amount being levied but also the state aid that comes along with those levy dollars.

In many cases when the levy is decreased there is a subsequent decrease in the amount of aid that comes.

The board unanimously approved the proposal and then scheduled its discussion to certify the 2016 levy for its November meeting.

To meet state law the district can not certify its levy until after Nov. 24. With its November meeting scheduled for Nov. 23, the board approved the rescheduling of that meeting for Nov. 30.

During that meeting an opportunity is also being provided for the public to speak about the levy. The board meeting is scheduled to be held that day at 7 p.m.

In other action during its Sept. 28 meeting the board:

• Scheduled a public hearing related to the world’s best work force for Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the RVMS/HS board room.

During the meeting, the public will hear the plan for the upcoming year.

• Approved a request to grant the school district the authority to increase the current .5 FTE maintenance position to 1.0 FTE based on the need to maintain the buildings in a way that keeps classrooms, restrooms and hallways as clean and inviting as they should be.

• Accepted the resignation of Brian Pope from his position as middle school baseball coach.

• Accepted, with regrets, the retirement of Lamberta Doll from her position as a social worker at Reede Gray Elementary School effective Dec. 4.

• Approved the employment of Shannon Serbus as the cheer coach for the fall and winter at $793 per season, and Brian Pope as assistant baseball coach at a stipend of $2,859.

• Approved the employment of Jeshalem Salisbury as a long-term substitute high school art teacher at $220 per day for approximately 50 days.

• Approved the employment of Scott LeSage as finance director beginning today at a prorated salary of $80,000 for the current school year and $82,500 for 2016-17.