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School board holds annual meeting

By Staff | Jul 30, 2012

At their annual meeting held on July 17, the Rugby School Board set a date for a public hearing for the purpose of declaring the school district’s intent to request an increase in local taxes levied for 2013.

The public hearing which is set for Wednesday, August 1 in the board room (old office) at the high school beginning at 7 p.m. is for public opportunity to comment on the proposed increase.

It is estimated in the 2013 budget proposal that the district will require fewer total mills than was needed in 2012. The final mill levies will not be determined until taxable valuations are finalized by the counties and state and after the district hearing is held. Taxable valuations are expected to increase 15% meaning the district can levy fewer mills while bringing in more dollars.

The school board looked at three options in a general levy review. Option 1 proposed a 10% increase in dollars ($1,563,859.96). Option 2 proposed a 7.5% increase in dollars ($1,528,317.69). Option 3 calls for a 12% increase ($1,592,293.77). Superintendent Mike McNeff recommended option 1 as the one which would serve the Rugby School district the best. Due to some anticipated federal financing cuts in Title I and Title IIA and increases in other areas of the budget, more money is needed for the general fund for the 2012-13 school year. Since there will be Fewer federal dollars, those dollars need to be replaced. After some discussion, the board voted to approve Option 1.

The general levy mills in 2010- 2011 were 96.90 and are projected to be 91.99. The estimated percentage increase in tax valuation from the preceding year is 15.86%. These are projected figures because the county auditor determines the dollar amount and the precise mill levy after all the public hearings are completed.

The school board placed the proposed 2012-13 budget on its first reading.

In looking at the hot lunch budget from last year, the program operated on an $11,750.08 deficit. Without raising lunch costs, all available hot lunch funds will be depleted. The Department of Public Instruction requires a minimum 5 cent increase to hot lunch prices for FY13. This requirement will remain in effect until the average lunch price is $2.51. Supt. McNeff recommended to the board to raise breakfasts and hot lunches by 15 cents this year and then prices would not have to be raised again for three years. The 2013 proposal would raise breakfast from $1.40 to $1.55, elementary lunch from $1.90 to $2.05 and RHS student lunches from $2.00 to $2.15. Adult employee lunches would be increased to $2.65 and adult non-employee lunches would be priced at $4.05. The school board approved the increase which should take care of the deficit.

As for activity tickets, they will remain the same price as last year, $5/adults and $3/students. Activity passes will remain the same as last year, as well.

In further business, the board approved various routine budget items such as: official newspaper, official school depository, district memberships in professional organizations, publication of notice for fuel vendor registration, appointment of authorized representative for school programs, etc.

Substitute teacher pay rates stayed the same as last year at $100/day. Ancillary staff salaries increased by 4% by approval of the school board.

School board meetings were set for the second Tuesday of each month beginning at 7 a.m.

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