HG district approves $14.8M budget

by Steven Ottman

HOWARDS GROVE – The School Board voted to approve the 2011-12 budget with an estimated allfund expenditure of $14,860,170 for the 2011-12 school year at its annual meeting Monday, Sept. 19.

The total general fund expenditure is estimated to be $9,931,956.

Estimated state aid numbers for 2011-12 are $5,949,909 – a decrease of 4.1 percent from last year.

Enrollment for the school year, based on the count in the third week in September, is estimated at 876 students, which gives a three-year average of 922 students.

The board also approved the tax levy proposal of $4,270,660 for the 2011-12 school year.

The proposed mill rate is $10.08 per thousand. This would represent a 10.2 percent reduction, if property values remain the same as last year.

New business included the approval of nine resolutions: to fix salaries of the School Board members; to authorize a hot lunch program; authorizing audit of books and related financial affairs of the district; authorizing bus service for the children; authorizing the Board of Education to borrow money in the form of short-term loans; designating a public depository and authorizing withdrawal of school district monies; to fix the number of days school shall be held during the school term (not less than 180 days); authorizing the Board of Education to sell personal property no longer needed by the school district; and authorizing the School Board to set the date of the annual meeting.

In the regular monthly board meeting, board member Kim Plass was appointed delegate for the WASB Convention to be held in Milwaukee Jan. 20-22, 2012. Mark DeAmico was appointed as alternate.

School Board policies on IEP team meetings, grievance procedures, support staff benefits, [more] grievance procedures, benefits, and emergency nursing services were approved.

Diane Wieland gave the PTO report. Wieland stated that the PTO has a full slate of officers for the 2011-12 school year. They are working on a family dance, popcorn days and have agreed to help fund curriculum materials and character assembly at Northview.

Superintendent Chris Peterson gave a construction update. Peterson felt that the construction project for the middle school and high school went well, but that there is still work that needs to be completed.

Peterson gave a list of completed projects that included remodeling of existing office space to provide new secure entry, adding new ceiling to the west corridor to help with routing of new technology and lighting, overall roof replacement, miscellaneous patchwork of pavement including curb and gutter, window replacement, replacement of 18 unit ventilators in the building, provided DDC control for all new HVAC equipment, provided a split cooling system for the new server room (off library), replaced the office roof top unit, installation of critical alarm sensors and associated controls, power to new HVAC equipment, replaced all T12 or outdated lamps and ballasts with new T8 bulbs and ballasts, complete replacement of fire alarm, complete electrical service and panel replacement, wireless shutdown, data wiring and associated power wiring and maintenance shed wiring.

Board President Jeff Elzinga asked how the tax dollars from the referendum benefited the middle school.

Middle school Principal Andy Hansen said that the road construction, window replacement, lighting, fire alarms and technology updates in the offices would pay dividends down the road.

“This is a big change from the old school to the new school look,” Hansen said. “All of the safety improvements will benefit the kids.”

Hansen noted that the cost savings would show in the years to come. The benefits will be great to the staff and the students.

“I’m confident that this has been a top-notch improvement,” Hansen commented.

Projects that need to be completed this fall include chimney removal from old boiler, ADA door upgrades, replace boilers with high efficiency modular boilers, update pumping and distribution system as needed to meet current efficiency standards and replace generator.

Dave Richart gave a technology update. Richart stated the district website has been expanded. The staff has been trained on how to use it.

A health module has been initiated.

Richart discussed server changes and how it will allow the teachers better access to data. The new servers will also save the school money in the future.

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