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USD 431 lowers mill levy
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HOISINGTON — At its budget hearing on Monday, the Hoisington USD 431 School Board approved the 2012-13 budget, which lowers the mill levy assessment to 56.870  for 2012-13. The mill levy assessment in 2011-12 was 59.030, which will result in a drop of 2.160 mills for the current year.
One mill is one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value.
The decrease in the mill levy is due to “increased district valuation plus a decrease in bond payment,” said Bill Lowry, USD 431 superintendent.
The districts valuation has climbed from $37,644,095 in 2010-11 to $45,891,892 in 2012-13. In addition, the district’s debt, which includes debt for the Hoisington Activity Center, has dropped from $9,498,737 in 2010-11 to $8,297,005.
“We’re in extremely good financial shape,” said Board Member Dean Stoskopf. “Compared to a lot of districts, it is a luxurious budget.”
In other business, two air conditioning units out of six have quit working at the Hoisington Activity Center. Lowry said the that could still run with four air conditioners, but he was not sure they could keep it warm in the winter. We’re “in good enough shape to handle upgrades,” said Lowry.
The board discussed the consent agenda. Stoskopf said he has reservations with the consent agenda. A consent agenda enables the board to group routine items and resolutions under one umbrella. The entire package is voted on at once with no additional explanations.
“I don’t like the consent agenda,” he said. “We had a fruitful discussion on every item. I have concerns about the perception.
“It only takes an extra 5-10 minutes,” he added. The council members present agreed to table the discussion for six months.
Lowry presented a security proposal for discussion only. The front doors of Hoisington High School and Lincoln School would be secured with an electric lock. Anyone entering would have to be buzzed in since no one can see the front doors.
The current cameras are analog, and Lowry said they were out of date. New one would include recordable cameras, which could be accessed remotely.
They would also be able to record audio.
“It’s just another step in security,” said Lowry. The item will be added to the agenda in the future.
In final business, the board approved:
•Out-of-district transportation for seven students. The board discussed setting guidelines such as distance and reasons for the request.
•Approved a contract with the Center for Counseling and Consultation for 18 hours per week at $45 per hour.
•Approved a contract with Safety Sweep, the drug dog, at $300 per visit.
•Accepted the resignation of Marcia Williams, the high school track assistant.