USD 410 board approves mill-levy increase

Unified School District 410 Board of Education at its regular meeting Aug. 9 approved the 2011-12 budget with a 2.059 mill levy increase for the coming year.

Owners of a house valued at $1,000,000 will see their property tax increase by $23.68 per year, or $1.97 per month, according to Jerry Hinerman, USD 410 business manager.

The board?s decision followed a review and discussion of proposed levies for the general, local option, bond and interest and capital outlay funds.

One aspect focused on the amount needed as operational cash reserves, which are housed in capital outlay.

Superintendent Steve Noble said he thought the bare minimum for a district this size would be $500,000, which would guarantee being able to pay employees and cover regular expenses in case the state payments are late, as happens on occasion.

A decrease in state aid has affected the budget amount needed to be raised by taxes, Hinerman added, as more of the LOB is being funded locally than in the past.

Noble came to Monday?s meeting recommending a 4-mill increase to accommodate increases in the bond and interest fund?designated for payments on bond projects approved by voters?and capital outlay.

?(But) the board needs to consider moving the mill levy into their comfort zone,? Noble said.

Board president Eddie Weber, the first to respond, recommended lowering the capital outlay increase and use more of the district?s reserves.

Weber, along with board member Rod Koons, suggested the board rather approve an incremental mill increase.

Board member Gary Andrews said, ?I?d like to say let?s go at least two (mills) in case we?d have to jump to six (mills) next year.?

Board member Joe Sechrist asked Noble whether he would be comfortable with no increase at all.

Noble said he would want enough cash reserves to meet the district?s obligations.

?I?m comfortable with paying people on time every time,? he said.

The board unanimously approved the 2.059-mill increase.

Other business

In other business, the board:

— heard the first reading of the Kansas Association of School Board policy changes. The administration will bring a recommendation to the board for approval at the September meeting.

— accepted the resignation by Karen Elliott a Parents as Teachers educator. Her hours will be filled by PAT director Lori Soohoo and educator Becky Suderman.

— approved contracts for Lee Albrecht as a regular bus driver, Lynn Just as fifth-grade instrumental instructor and Katelin Unruh as At-Risk aide at the high school.

— heard from Noble the itinerary for the Back-to-School gathering scheduled for Aug. 22. Speaker Rick Reed will talk about learning in the 21st century and how to reach students in different ways. The meal will be sub sandwiches served by the kitchen staff.

— was reminded that making online payments to the district will be available throughout the year.

Board member Mark Rooker was absent from Monday?s meeting.

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