The Columbia Heights School Board approved a $10.5 million preliminary levy for 2020, up 5.28% over 2019.

That percentage represents an increase of more than half a million dollars.

“A lot of that (5.28% increase) is due to adjustments that really aren’t in our control,” School Board Treasurer Lorien Mueller said.

The proposed levy can go down but not up before final levy approval.

Of the proposed $10.5 million, $5.9 million is for general fund purposes, which is up by nearly $400,000 from 2019. Nearly $379,000 is for the district’s community service fund, up about $81,000 from 2019.

“Really, the whole swing in the community (service) fund is ... school-age care,” Director of Finance and Operations Denise Sundstrom told the board.

School-age care increased by about $83,000, while other items in the category plateaued or decreased because of adjustments that aren’t in the district’s control.

About $1.4 million is for the capital project levy, a voter-approved levy to do deferred maintenance, and the final $2.8 million is for debt services, which is down by nearly $42,000 from last year.

The final budget hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 17.

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