HG adopts final school budget

by Steve Ottman
Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE.The School Board adopted the final $10,132,077 2017-2018 budget at their October meeting Monday.

The final district membership count for the third Friday in September was 826, which is a decrease from last year’s enrollment of 841, decreasing the school’s three-year average to 839.

Certified state aid numbers for the 2017-2018 school year is $4,723,265, which is a decrease of $136,713 from last year (2.18 percent).

The equalized property value dollar amount increased to $473,544,239, an increase of $21,625,646 or 4.8 percent increase over the preliminary budget projection of $469,995,337.

The increase will have a corresponding impact on the levy rate.

The board members also adopted the final levy of $4,421,147 for the 2017-2018 budget which is an increase of $367,565 from last year.

The property tax rate to support the budget is $9.34 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, 37 cents more than the 2016-2017 school year which was $8.97. That amounts to a 4.1 percent increase.

The owner of a home assessed at $100,000 will pay $934 in school taxes.

Superintendent Chris Peterson noted that the levy went up by $367,565 due to a decrease in state aid of $136,713 and an increase in the referendum levy of $253,250.

The revenue cap from the 2016-2017 school year only increased by $15,942 or .19 percent.

“We also anticipated a mill rate increase of $.50 from the referendum, which didn’t happen,” said Peterson. “Also an important note is that the amount of money that goes to voucher schools through the tax levy is $77,884, double what it was in the past.”

Voucher schools are private/parochial schools that resident Howards Grove students attend.

Board members approved the 2018-2019 school calendar with a start date of Sept. 4, 2018 and a graduation date of June 9, 2019. The school will have a spring break of March 25-29, 2019.

Two motions were approved for the updates to the support staff handbook and the professional staff employee handbook.

Peterson gave an update on the new auditorium. The precast walls were all erected during a three-day period. Currently brick is being laid for other walls in the auditorium.

Underground plumbing and electrical work is in process.

Peterson expects the building to be enclosed by mid-November to the end of November. Everything is on target with the budget and on schedule.

Board President Kim Plass thanked Zoetis for a donation to the FFA program. The Howards Grove PTO donated money to all three schools for various student activities, projects field trip transportation and events through the school year.

The PTO also donated money for refreshments during middle school parent teacher conferences.

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