Board attends to financial matters

by Dave Cary Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH — In passing four separate resolutions Tuesday, the Plymouth School board officialy set the district’s financial course for the year ahead.

First, the board approved a promissory note that will establish a line of credit with Bank First National for amounts not totaling more than $2.8 million. This allows short-term loans without board approval and is a routine matter for many business and governmental bodies because the yearly income does not always line up with obligations that may come in.

Second, the board approved issuance and the establishment of parameters for the sale up up to $2,950,000 in general obligation refunding bonds. This will help refinance some $18,335,000 worth of general obligation bonds that have not been previously refinanced, and is expected to save the district some $25,000 to $35,000 annually on the tax levy. R. W. Baird will handle the sale of these bonds.

Third, the board certified the school district tax levy of $11,342,022, which translates to a mill rate of $8.69 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This includes $9,666,385 for general operations, $200,000 for community education and $1,475,637 for service of previously issued debt. The levy figure is down from the figure approved at the annual meeting because equalized state aid and tax exempt computer aid increased from the estimates available at the time of that meeting.

Fourth, the board approved the 2014-15 final budget, which includes a deficit of just under $10,000, which is also significantly less that the budget approved at the annual meeting, and for the same reasons as above.

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Assistant Superintendent Dan Mella, PHS Library Media Specialist Dina Budrecki, and Horizon Library Media Specialist Melissa Costello gave a brief report on the district's Summer Technology Academy which was open to teachers and the community. Of about 100 who participated, they said, about 15 were not school personnel, and several non-district teachers also attended. The program, they said, was well received.

The board approved a request from PHS choral teacher Amanda Gaura to take students to New York City to compete in the Worldstride Heritage Music Festival next March 35-30. The trip plans meet board guidelines, and expenses will be the responsibility of participating students and their families.

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In personnel matters, the board approved a 50 percent contract for Mary Kreple for cross-curriculum teaching at Fairview. The contract runs through next Jan. 23. Kreple received her bachelors degree from UW-Whitewater and has worked for the district for 15 years.

The board also approved a 50 percent contract for Jennifer Lutzke for cross-categorical teaching at Fairview, and her contract also runs through next Jan. 23. Lutzke received her Bachelors degree form UW-Oshkosh, and has served as a Head Start four-year-old kindergarten teacher for eight years.

Board member Bob Travis and Communications Coordinator Jamie Piontkowski presented a request - and secured approval - for a series of updates for the Community Engagement Pillar of the district's master plan.

Travis, board liaison the Plymouth Educational Foundation, also reported that the Foundation's $1,000,000 goal for the new Food Science and Agricultural Center has been exceeded by some $66,000 and is officially over although donations may still be made.

Board member Richard York, board liason to the Community Education Committee, said an interesting new course offering will be “Holiday Side Dishes” to be presented by an area chef Nov. 11 and 13. York also said that the Big Brothers/Big Sisters “Lunch Buddies” mentoring program needs about 30 volunteers. Volunteers have lunches as well as other activities with a selected K-4 students once a week. Interested people can call 458-0111 or 892-5022 for further information.

Board member Pam Holzhaeuser, board liason to the Family Resource Center, said the organization is looking for two new board members. If interested call 892-6706.

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The board approved the snow plowing bid of King Structures Inc. (KSI) for plowing during the upcoming year. KSI has been the district's plowing service vendor previously, but did not submit a bid last year.

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