Archive for Wednesday, September 7, 2005

School board approves budget

September 7, 2005

Tonganoxie school district patrons will see an 11.32-mill increase in property taxes for the 2005-2006 school year.

The total mill levy for the 2005-2006 school year will be 50.61 mills. A year ago, the district's mill levy was 39.29.

A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

Here's how this translates into dollars and cents for district patrons. According to the county treasurer's office, the owner of a $150,000 home would pay $827.02 in property taxes for the 2005-2006 school year.

Tonganoxie school Superintendent Richard Erickson told board members at last Wednesday's special meeting that the mill-levy increase includes 10.9 for school construction and .42 for an increase in the local option budget, a locally generated tax.

In November, district voters approved a $2.53 million plan to fund construction of a new middle school, improvements at the grade school and work to convert the high school and junior high into a four-year high school campus.

"When we were selling the bond election last fall, we estimated it (school construction) would be about a 10.9 mill increase and that's what we're proposing," Erickson said.

By a unanimous vote, the four board members at Wednesday's meeting approved the published budget of $9,161,064 for the 2005-2005 school year.

However, Erickson told board members that the real budget -- the one the district would be living by -- was set at $8,344,553.

Erickson said he inflates the published budget to take advantage of state funding if enrollment should increase, and if unforeseen costs arise, to save the district the expense of republishing the budget.

The budget includes a .42-mill increase in the local option budget, a locally funded tax.

This year the LOB will generate $2 million, compared to $1,874,785 for the previous school year.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, Tonganoxie construction manager Kris Roberts presented bids for the middle school. Board members approved $7,791,867 in bids. The bids don't include drywall, studs and ceilings, which will be rebid.

"The bids came in under budget," Roberts said. "Right now, they're about $600,000 under budget, which is a very good place to be."

After meeting in executive session for 10 minutes, school board members voted to hire Gerald Nelson as bus driver and Clinton McDaniel as assistant football coach.

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