HOISINGTON — At its regular meeting on Monday, the USD 431 School Board heard a presentation from Recreation Commission Board President Lee Van Scyoc considering an increase of one additional mill to pay for Parks and Recreation. The mill levy assessment is the amount of property taxes assessed to landowners.
For the last 15 years, the Enola Logan funds amounting to $1,000,000, were used to finance many projects in Hoisington. The Hoisington Recreation Commission currently collects 3.5 mills.
“The Logan Funds have been depleted,” said Van Scyoc.
Some of the projects funded include the Hoisington Walking Trail, the purchase of the 15 acres of property for the Hoisington Activity Center, the tennis courts, pole vault poles, wrestling mats, and “so many other things,” said Van Scyoc. “The community has been fortunate to benefit from the Enola Logan fund.”
He recommended that the first year that the new funds are received that they be used to drill water wells at a couple of recreation fields, which are primarily maintained by Hoisington Rec.
The BOE passed a resolution to increase the mill levy. The BOE controls the funding stream for the Rec.
The increase is subject to publication and protest over the next few weeks.
USD 431’s enrollment is up this year, Superintendent Bill Lowry reported.
“We’re up around 25 (students),” he said.
The kindergarten students only count as one-half full time equivalency and the preschool is not counted. The official count occurred on Sept. 20 state-wide.
In the last seven years, the school has seen an increase in student population every year but one.
Lowry attributes this to younger parents moving into Hoisington.
The school is at 678 students kindergarten through twelfth grade. Additionally, there are 101 children in the preschool program.
Lowry staid at one time, the district only had one three-year-old preschool class, but now they have three.
The district has also seen an increase of the at-risk population. This is based on the number of free and reduced lunches. Lowry said about 43 percent of students are on free/reduced meals.
In addition, the board:
•Increased the cost of the bus reimbursement rate to $1.80 per mile plus driver cost for entities that use the bus besides the school district.
•Traded in the 2001 Astro van for a 2007 Arcadia for $12,094.
•Approved a membership in the Clara Barton Foundation.
•Heard that there is a proposal at the state level to have teachers finger printed at the time of first license renewal if they have not yet been finger printed.