By Amber Hayden
BOYCEVILLE — Residents in the Boyceville Community school district will be paying the lowest mill rate in 28 years.
Superintendent Kevin Sipple explained during the Boyceville Board of Education’s budget hearing October 10 that with the recent increase in the equalized value of 7.1 percent, or $313,475,763, the mill rate has dropped to $8.88 per $1,000 of property value.
“This is the lowest mill rate we have had in 28 years,” stated Sipple.
What has helped the Boyceville School District is the amount of funding and aid received from the state, which has helped decrease the amount of debt.
Since the 2008-09 school year, the school district has decreased their debt from $13 million, to $6.5 million according to Sipple.
“It helps that the debt has gotten lower. This way if we had to borrow again the district has a better credit score,” Sipple explained.
The Community Service fund had an excess of $150,000 dollars moving into the 2018-19 school year. According to Sipple this is the only fund that could be levied back if need be. Also the Board was made aware that as part of the budget was half the cost of a new propane bus as well.
Sipple stated the numbers may fluctuate before the next board meeting on October 24 due to the general aid funding numbers not coming in yet. He also mentioned that Boyceville receives quite a bit of aid due to the amount of special needs programs.
During the annual meeting that followed the budget hearing, Superintendent Sipple expressed pride in how much importance the district has put on academics over the years as Boyceville had the second highest assessment scores for the conference.
Sipple’s belief is it is the teachers’ involved when making decisions that are in the best interest of the students that has impacted how well the school has done.
Sipple spoke with the Board of Education on a few matters he believes the district should keep an eye on even after he steps down at the end of the current school year.
The three main concerns he had were, the attraction and retention of the employees for the schools, school safety and the challenge the district has had with enrollment.
Regarding the school’s safety, Sipple has spoke with Cardinal Glass about installing the safety glass for the windows.
As for enrollment, he asked the question of what could the district do in order to keep or attract new students from outside the school’s district.
“As a whole, though, I feel good about where we are,” stated Sipple.
The Boyceville Board of Education will meet again on October 24 at 6 p.m. in the high school/middle school library.