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EM school approves 2016-17 budget at annual meeting

By Cara L. Dempski

ELK MOUND — There will be a slight decrease to the tax levy and mill rate for residents of the Elk Mound school district in 2016.

School board treasurer Gary Bodenburg presented a budget at the August 22 budget hearing held prior to the annual meeting. Bodenburg indicated the levy dropped to $2,744,891for the coming year from $2,845,965 in 2015. The mill rate also dropped slightly in correspondence to the levy.

The district tax levy is adjusted annually based on the projected budget for the upcoming school year. A summary of the budget was mailed to all district residents in July. In it, the 2016-17 budget is projected to be $15,470,474 for the district’s general fund.

The proposed mill rate has decreased to $8.74 for every $1,000 of a property’s value.

Included in the budget summary was the Elk Mound district’s long-term debt service for the past two school years. The district saw total expenditures of $1,080,373 last year, resulting in a reduced debt fund balance of $169,815 for the year.

Bodenburg said about the debt, “A balance must be kept in the debt fund from year to year to cover debt service due before taxes can be collected.”

During the annual meeting, the school board and district residents in attendance were unanimous in their acceptance of setting the property tax levy as detailed in the budget summary.

The meeting attendees also voted to leave the board officer and board member salaries as set in 2015. Officers make $1,750 yearly and members make $1,500 per year. Included in this vote was a proposal to leave mileage to coincide with the rate for district personnel and to maintain the $110 per diem rate for travel outside the district.

Village resident Margaret Dieter moved to authorize the purchase of necessary textbooks and provide school lunches, appropriate funds to provide the same, and charge reasonable prices for lunch. District resident Holley Sweeney seconded the motion and all present voted unanimously to approve both measures.

Further motions were made to authorize the school board to provide legal defense on its behalf and to set school terms with direct instruction hours of no less than 437 hours for kindergarten, 1,050 hours for grades one through six and 1,137 hours for grades seven through twelve. These were again met with unanimous approval.

The board then discussed setting the 2017 annual meeting. A meeting must be held between May 15 and October 31

“There are years when the legislature has not completed a budget or other major factors are unknown yet in July,” meeting chairman Tim Sivertson said. “That’s why our meetings are usually held in August.”

After all present voted unanimously to authorize the school board to set a date for the 2017 meeting, the meeting adjourned.