The final hurdle toward demolishing and renovating the old Perham High School into The Hub was cleared Wednesday.

During a special meeting, the Perham City Council approved two proposals from BHH Partners. The first proposal relates to architectural and engineering services for the demolition of the old Perham High School, 200 Fifth St. SE. The second proposal is related to the The Hub renovation.

These proposals were passed due to the Perham-Dent School Board recently approving a gymnastics building. Once the gymnastics team is moved from the old Perham High School, demolition can be begin in spring 2020.

“These are the last proposals we’re going to see from them in a long time,” City Manager Jonathan Smith said.

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Smith presented the preliminary 2020 budget and tax levy to the council. The amount is not final, but just sets a maximum for the final levy. The council will adopt the actual budget and levy at the Dec. 9 council meeting.

The general operating levy shows a 12.96% increase from last year, while the total proposed tax levy including debt, tax abatement and HRA is 6.2%.

Smith said the increase is due to increased wages, and an estimated 4% increase in health insurance. The Perham Fire Department and general capital fund also show increases of 10% and 16% respectively.

Overall there’s not a lot of difference from last year, Smith said.

“The pie shape is becoming more balanced,” he said. “It’s not heavy on one item versus another.”

A home with an estimated value of $138,000 will net $560.33 in city taxes, according to calculations Smith presented. That’s an increase of 2.27% or $12.42 from last year.

At the end of his presentation, Smith included a slide covering some examples of services city tax dollars cover. That list includes 24/7 police coverage and criminal prosecution, fire and emergency services, economic development, street maintenance and snow removal among others.