Interim treasurer Jerry Zelenka has but one request for the to consider after his contract expires on June 30—place a new levy on the ballot.
During Monday’s regular meeting, Zelenka addressed the board saying it should put at least a 1-mill permanent improvements levy in front of voters by next March.
At one mill, the five-year levy would raise about $730,000 per year for the school district and cost taxpayers about $96 for every 100,000 in property valuation.
However, Zelenka stressed, the money can’t go to employee raises, benefits or wage step increases; it can only pay for building and grounds improvements, technology, buses or any “capital asset that will last more than five years.”
As it stands, the district gets a large share of its permanent improvements money from rental charges of school facilities, but the annual revenue gained is “miniscule” versus what can be generated by a levy, said Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols.
According to Zelenka, the district receives about $400,000 annually in permanent improvement money.
The extra $300,000-plus in revenue generated from a new levy could go directly toward equipping classrooms with 21st century technology, he said. That is, smart boards, computers, laptops, tablets and so on.
“Dr. Nichols has some really good ideas for this district for the future and really has a good vision for the district of where it can go and where he’d like to take it, but what you’re lacking – if I can say this – what you’re lacking is the funds to do that with,” said Zelenka.
Would you pay for a new levy if the funds went directly to students and the classroom? Tell us in the comments.