USD 410 discusses budgets

The USD 410 School Board met on Monday, Sept 11 where they opened with an Exceeding the Revenue Neutral Tax Rate Hearing as required by Kansas statutes. The hearing was to allow the public an opportunity to comment regarding the proposed 2023-2024 Revenue Neutral Rate and provided an opportunity for the board to hear public comments relative to the 2023-2024 USD 410 budget published in the Hillsboro Star-Journal on August 30, 2023, and Exceeding the Revenue Neutral Tax

Rate for the 2023-2024 School Year.

Jerry Hinerman, Business Manager for USD 410, explained to the board that taxes have recently gone up because property values have gone up and not because of anything USD 410 did to make anyone pay more taxes for the school district.

He also explained that remaining revenue neutral would mean a loss.

“If we were to remain revenue neutral we would lose in local tax dollars. And again, that would be local, less taxes collected, but would be less funds we’d have to work with. And on the state aid piece, we would lose about $55,000 if we remain revenue neutral. So basically remaining revenue neutral, we lose about $150,000 of dollars that are otherwise available,” said Hinerman.

There were no public comments and the board voted to approve exceeding the revenue neutral tax rate resolution.

Greg Vahrenberg, Managing Director at Raymond James and Associates, Inc. met with the board to review financing options, the ballot question and timelines for the proposed January 2024 bond election.

Vahrenberg did give the board a higher amount for the bond than originally expected.

“So what we are showing here is a principal amount of a bond issue of 13,350,000. Some of that goes towards paying financing-related costs. So out of that 13,350,000 principle, we have 13,250,000 going into a project fund,” said Vahrenberg.

The board did not make any decisions but discussed various options including whether to hold a formal election for the vote or to mail out the ballots to potentially make it easier on those voting. They will make final decisions next month.

The board also made the following personnel changes:

* adjusted Creigh Bell’s 6% Hillsboro High School Technology Student Association and Robotics Sponsor supplemental contract to a 4% Technology Student Association Sponsor supplemental contract due to no students participating in robotics this year.

* approved the issuance of a contract to Jeff Haslett to serve as Hillsboro High School Driver Education Teacher for $261.00 per student for the 2023-2024 school year.

* approved the issuance of a contract to Leah Rose to serve as Hillsboro High School Freshman Class Sponsor.

* approved the hiring of Charles Page to serve as Hillsboro Middle/High School Custodian for four hours per day beginning Sept. 5 for $13.00 per hour.

* approved the hiring of Adrianne Ferris to serve as Hillsboro Middle/High School Instructional Aide for 5.50 hours per day beginning September 18, 2023, for $13.00 per hour.

* approved the hiring of Thayne Meier to serve as Maintenance Worker for four hours per day beginning Oct. 2 for $16.35 per hour.

* approved the resignation of Russ Morton from his position as USD 410 Route Bus Driver effective Aug. 15.

* approved the resignation of Arlene Hett from her position as USD 410 District Office Custodian effective Sept. 24.

In other business, the board:

* approved the 2023-2024 budget as published with consideration of the USD 410 needs assessment and state assessment information provided at the August 14, 2023 board meeting.

* learned that the City of Hillsboro is applying for a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) for a full replacement of Adams from 1st Street to B Street. The city asked USD 410 for a resolution of support and the board approved it.

* approved transportation fees of $25.00 per hour and $1.50 per mile. The current rate was $20.00 per hour and $1.00 per mile. It had been over 20 years since the last fee increase.

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