District increases tax levy by 9.67 percent

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 10/4/00.

The Paynesville Area School Board approved increasing the district levy by 9.67 percent at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell recommended that the board levy the maximum amount. The levy could be lowered after the public hearing to review the levy on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

"I don't think it was a surprise that there is an increase," Caldwell said. The district's expenses salaries, insurance, and transportation have all increased. The district has deficit spent the last three years. The district also has a deficit budget this year.

The only major change was in the levy for health and safety dollars. In 1999, the district levied $17,250 for health and safety.

Because of fire code violations, the state fire marshal ordered upgrades at all three schools. The district levied $151,450 in 1999-2000 for health and safety to resolve the code violations.

The district has levied an additional $120,342 for 2000-2001 to help resolve air quality concerns in the basement of the high school.

Most of the upgrades have been done as part of the construction project.

"I will go through the levy in great detail during the public hearing in December," Caldwell told the board. He urged the board to study the levy proposal before the hearing.

In 1999-2000, the district levied $2,026,324. For the 2000-2001 levy, the district is levying $2,222,368.

According to board chairman Pat Flanders, the formula used to determine the levy is generated by the state and is never the same. A factor in determining the levy is the district's adjusted net tax capacity and total market value of all properties within the district.

The total market value of the district has increased $78,082,179 in the last five years. The district's total market value for 1999 was $247,588,500.

The final district levy will need to be adopted before Dec. 22. The board expects to adopt the levy at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Other business
•The board approved using state class size reduction revenue funds in the kindergarten program this year. The district received about $16,000.

There are 85 students in kindergarten. The funds have enabled the district to go from four to five sections. The average class size will be 17 students per class this year.

Dina Hengal was hired to teach the fifth class.

•The district approved a grant proposal from Jane Ruprecht to develop literacy centers in her second grade classroom. While students are using the literacy centers, it would free her up to work with higher ability students.

•The district approved a two-year transportation contract with Paynesville Motor and Transfer. The contract includes a six percent increase each year.

•The board approved hiring Steven Little as the head boys basketball coach; Mark Kleinbaum as the assistant boys basketball coach; and Tony Bylander as the ninth grade boys basketball coach.

•The board approved a compensatory revenue proposal of $9,755 for the middle school. This proposal would upgrade 27 computers. It would also include networking the computers and adding Macmanager. Macmanager is a policing tool so the staff can monitor what the students bring up on the computers.

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