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Elk Mound school board approves $11.3 million budget for annual meeting

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND —  The Elk Mound Board of Education has approved an $11.33 million general fund budget for the 2014-2015 school year that will be presented at the annual meeting in August.

The Board of Education approved the preliminary budget at a special school board meeting July 28.

The preliminary budget for 2014-2015 is $261,000 more than this year’s budget and is $546,000 more than the 2012-2013 budget.

Salaries in the 2014-2015 preliminary budget are listed at $5.44 million, compared to $5.12 million for this year and $4.86 million in 2012-2013.

Employee benefits in the 2014-2015 preliminary budget are listed at $2.9 million, compared to $2.84 million for this year and $3 million in 2012-2013.

The preliminary budget for next year is 2.4 percent more than this year’s budget. The 2013-2014 budget represented a 2.6 percent increase over 2012-2013, which represented a 4.4 percent increase over the 2011-2012 school year.

The preliminary special education budget for 2014-2015 is $1.51million, compared to a $1.37 million budget for this year and a $1.35 million budget for last year.

The debt service budget of $1.2 million for 2014-2015 compares to a budget of $1.15 for this year.

The food service budget has a beginning balance of $211,104, with a projected revenue for 2014-2015 of $513,000, projected expenditures of $535,000, and a projected ending balance of $189,448.

The Elk Mound Area School District has remaining debt of $8.5 million.

The debt includes $410,000 from the refinancing of 1997 debt, along with remaining debt for the 2010 construction project of $2.2 million at 2.97 percent interest (Build America Bonds), $2.5 million at 2.93 percent interest (Build America Bonds), and $3.3 million at zero interest in Qualified School Construction Bonds.

The projected property tax levy for 2014-2015 will be $2.84 million, compared to $2.78 million for the 2013-2014 school year.

Even though the tax levy is projected to increase, the mill rate is projected to decrease because the equalized value in the school district has increased.

The anticipated increase in the levy of $57,543 represents an increase of 2.07 percent.

The projected property tax for the Elk Mound district on $100,000 of property value is $977.71 compared to $979.73 for the 2013-2014 school year, representing a decrease of $2.02.

Equalized value in 2013-2014 of $284 million represents a 1.4 percent increase over an equalized value in the school district for 2012-2013 of $280 million.

In 2009-2010, the equalized value was $297 million. The equalized value decreased in the following three years.

In 2004-2005, the equalized value was $230 million, representing an 8.5 percent increase. The equalized value increased by 6.5 percent in 2005-2006, increased 9.2 percent in 2006-2007, and increased 7.7 percent in 2007-2008.

The Elk Mound Area School District’s annual meeting will be held August 25.

Regular meeting

During the regular monthly meeting that followed the special meeting, the Elk Mound Board of Education:

• Approved keeping fees the same for season passes, athletic fees, driver education fees, and lunch program charges for meals and milk.

• Approved the Teacher Compensation Guide for 2014-2015, which contained minor updates to the document.

• Approved a variety of policy revisions. The school district has been working on updating policies for the past several years. A number of first readings for new policies also were approved. When the policies are completed, the school district will have them all uploaded to the district’s website, perhaps later in September, said Dr. Ron Walsh, district administrator.

• Accepted the resignation of Shanna McMullin, the high school alternative education teacher. McMullin has accepted a position in Bloomer.

• Accepted the resignation of Amy Kent, a half-time art teacher at the middle school and high school. Kent has accepted a full-time teaching position in another district.

• Accepted the resignation of Sarah Meyers, a special education aide, who has accepted a full-time teaching position in another school district.

• Approved an agreement with the Boyceville school district to share the services of a curriculum consultant. Elk Mound will have the consultant for 75 days per school year.

In closed session, the Elk Mound Board of Education:

• Approved hiring Kari Kallio as the alternative education teacher. Kallio recently earned her certification in alternative education and was previously employed in the Elk Mound school district as a physical education teacher.

• Approved hiring Samantha Weix as a physical education/health teacher. Weix is an Elk Mound high school graduate.