School Board Approves Budget, Tax Asking Down
It was good news for the Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education and for the community of Emmetsburg at the Mar. 17, meeting of the board. The board considered the proposed budget for the 2008-2009 school year, and learned that the school district’s tax asking had decreased by $1.
“It looks like we will drop our tax rate by more than $1 per $1,000, pending the Wild Rose valuation,” said Superintendent John Joynt, referring to the tax asking that will decrease to $11.47 per $1,000 in property valuation.
Joynt noted that the amount is roughly $3 under the state average that is approximately $14.50.
“Our tax asking has basically stayed the same, as well as our enrollment,” Joynt related. “But the value of property has gone up. Another highlight is that no additional tax will be needed to pay-off the bond for next year.”
The board adopted the 2008-2009 budget as presented.
“I think it’s pretty awesome that we don’t need to raise everyone’s taxes,” concluded Board President Karla Anderson. “We’ve been doing really well being proactive and keeping on top of things. We’re building a new middle school, gymnasium, and auditorium, and we’re financially sound.”
In other business, the board accepted a long list of resignations from the district, including: Kris Heldt as high school band director, Jeny Garst as high school math teacher, Rhonda Sargent as paraeducator, Molly Rodemeyer as freshman softball coach, Zach Hamann as ninth grade baseball coach, Mike Lester as seventh grade boys’ track coach and ninth grade football coach, Tyler Beving as eighth grade football coach, and Jeff Brennan as varsity assistant/football trainer and ninth grade boys’ basketball coach.
Contracts were approved for: Tara Fastert as high school vocational agriculture teacher, Jeff Brennan as Dean of Students/Activities position, Tim Rodemeyer for ninth grade baseball coach, Mike Lester for eighth grade boys’ track coach and eighth grade football coach, and Tyler Beving for ninth grade football coach.
The board also approved a 28E sharing agreement for swimming with Algona for the 2008-2009 academic year. Students will participate in swimming at their own expense. Contracts for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 were approved, as well. According to Joynt, the district’s Negotiation Committee settled with the Teacher’s Association for a 4.3 percent package raise per year for the next two years.
The 2008-2009 calendar was approved with a start date of Wednesday, Aug. 20, and an end date of Wednesday, May 20.
In regards to the current school year, the board discussed the effect of snow days on the end of this academic year.
“To make up those snow days so we could dismiss prior to Memorial Day, we are considering tacking on 30 minutes to the last 11 days of school,” said Joynt. “We could start school 15 early and run 15 minutes later. It’s something we’re just discussing at this point.”
Board members also approved changing the time of school board meetings. Currently, the board meets at 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. Joynt proposed the idea of changing the start time of meetings to 5:30 p.m.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Steve Pelzer, board member.
Scott Dettmann agreed, “Anything we can do to get the public to attend meetings is worth trying.”
The change will take effect starting with either the August or September meeting of the board.