School board approves increasing levy

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/29/99.

The Paynesville Area School Board approved increasing the district levy by $127,890 at its meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Carolyn Drude of Ehlers and Associates, the district's financial consultants, suggested the board increase the tax levy by $127,890 to meet the first interest payment on the bonds for the upcoming building project.

"I had hoped to pay the interest payment out of our existing debt service account, but that wasn't possible," superintendent Howard Caldwell said. The tentative amount needed to meet the first two bond interest payments is $193,000. The first payment will be made in August of 2000 with the second half being paid in February of 2001.

"The district has $72,000 in debt service to help cover the interest expense," Caldwell said.

Drude informed the district that state statutes allow school districts to levy additional funds when a building project has been approved by the voters.

The board also approved a resolution providing for the sale of general obligation school building bonds. Bids for the bonds will be taken by the district's financial consultants, Ehlers and Associates, and opened on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m.

In other business:
•The board approved a lease agreement with the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds (LKAG). The gymnastics team will hold their practices at the recreation building at the LKAG, alleviating a space problem in the middle school gym. The school district agreed to pay to have holes drilled in the cement floor at the LKAG to anchor the parallel bars.

Matt Dickhausen, activities director, said the project wasn't too expensive. The lease is for $1,000 or $20 a day. This expense is being subsidized by several organizations.

"By having practice at the LKAG, it will save wear and tear on the gymnastics equipment because it won't need to be set it up or taken down daily. The equipment will remain up until the LKAG has a camp group coming in which will require use of the auditorium," Dickhausen said.

With the gymnastics team moving out of the middle school during Christmas vacation, the ninth grade basketball team will be able to utilize the full gym instead of only half of the gym.

•Barb Koehn, food service manager, informed the board that the breakfast counts at the elementary school have been averaging between 40 and 50 students. New this year is an a la carte breakfast program at the high school. There have been between 30 to 50 students utilizing the program which Koehn felt was great.

Koehn told the board that she has met with Etta Wittgraf and they have added 100 percent juices to the a la carte selections (apple, orange, and a cran-raspberry juice). "I'm looking at different items for next year," Koehn said. Wittgraf has donated $5,000 to the lunch program to help cover the cost of the juices.

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