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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The proposed 2020-2021 expense budget for the Colfax school district of $9.45 million represents an increase of $100,000 over the actual budget of $9.35 million for 2019-2020.
The School District of Colfax held the district’s annual meeting August 17.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school board and the several electors in attendance met in the Colfax High School lobby where there was plenty of space for social distancing.
The proposed revenue budget for 2020-2021 of $9.47 million represents an increase of nearly $19,000 over the revenue budget for 2020-2021 of $9.45 million.
The proposed total property tax levy of $2,873,941 represents a decrease of $83,000 over the 2019-2020 tax levy of $2,957,269.
The projected mill rate for 2020-2021, which will be established in October, is $7.47 per $1,000 of property value or $747 per $100,000 of property value.
The projected mill rate for this year compares to a mill rate of $7.98 for 2019-2020 and $7.99 for 2018-2019.
In 2017-2018, the mill rate was $8.41 per $1,000 of property value.
The total equalized value in the school district for 2019 is $373 million, which compares to $351 million in 2018 and $331 million in 2017.
The estimated state equalization aid for Colfax is $5.63 million.
The expense budget of $9.45 million for 2020-2021 includes $4.6 million for salaries; $1.7 million for benefits; and $1.65 million for purchased services.
The school district’s unfunded pension liability payment (Fund 38) for 2020-2021 will be $392,512 at an interest rate of 3.95 percent.
There are four years left on the unfunded liability, and at one time, the interest rate was 9 percent, noted William C. Yingst Jr., district administrator.
The school district’s Fund 46, the capital improvements fund, contains $458,699.
Fund 46 requires five years of initial deposits, and then the money can be used for items on the approved long-term capital improvements plan.
The Colfax school district was able to use the money in Fund 46 as of June 16.
All together, $150,000 in expenditures are planned from Fund 46 in 2020-2021, including $50,000 for technology upgrades and $100,000 for vehicle replacement.
The following resolutions were approved at the Colfax school district annual meeting:
• Directing the school board president to provide for the prosecution or defense of any action or proceeding in which the school district is interested.
• Directing the school board to furnish hot lunches to any and all pupils of the school district at a cost set by the school board and authorizing the school board to pay any deficiency resulting from the lunch program from the general fund.
• Authorizing the school board to sell any and all personal property belonging to the school district that is no longer used or needed for school purposes and authorizing the school board to determine which items to sell and to sell them by private sale or auction for prices and terms the school board feels is reasonable, proper and in the best interests of the school district.
• Setting salaries for all school board members at $95 per meeting; for school board president and clerk at $1,050 per year; for school board directors at $700 per year. Mileage shall be paid for attending meetings within the district, and if members are required to travel outside the district on business for the district, will be paid up to the Internal Revenue Service accepted mileage rate plus actual and necessary additional expenses. School board members will receive $200 per day, less payroll taxes, to attend the state school board convention.
• Setting the school property tax levy at $2,873,941 with the understanding that adjustments will be implemented in October following the September membership count not to exceed the state allowable level.
• Directing the school board to borrow money, as needed, to meet the immediate expenses of operating and maintaining public instruction in the school district during the current year until the next annual meeting.
• Changing the school board meeting dates, from the third Monday of every month, to the fourth Monday in October because of the October 15 equalized aid release date and for setting the proposed tax levy; changing the January meeting to the second Monday in the month to align with the drawing of lots for positions on the ballot in school board election; changing the April meeting to the fourth Monday of the month to align with the state statute to install newly elected school board members; and consider moving the July 2021 from July 19 to July 12, and in August of 2021, to continue the annual board meeting date on the third Monday in August.
• Stating that the Colfax school district is exercising its taxing authority to exceed the revenue limit on a non-recurring basis for energy efficiency measures and renewable energy products for the 2020-2021 school year in the amount of $179,569. An evaluation of the energy performance indicators will be included as an addendum in the required published budget summary for 2020-2021 and in the school district newsletter or in the published minutes of the school board meeting.