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Boscobel School mill rate passed
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The tax levy for the Boscobel School District is $2,480,610 for the 2011-12 school year.
That results in a mill rate of $8.83 per thousand of equalized valuation, down from the $8.93 figure for the 2010-11 school year.
At Tuesday's combined annual district meeting and a regular school board meeting, approval was given for the 2011-12 levy.
Of the mill rate, District Administrator Dr. Stephen Smith said, "It's one of the lowest in southwest Wisconsin, and it's one of the lowest in the state."
Dr. Smith added that the district should expect to "see the mill rate drop dramatically next year," possibly down to around $6.
Other news to come out of Tuesday's meetings included the board committing to Dean as the health care provider for district employees.
The commitment is contingent on finance committee approval of the final language of the plan to be submitted by Dean. The new plan takes effect Jan. 1 and is expected to save the district $550,000.
Also, Greg Bell, high school principal, attempted to put to rest some rumors regarding a visit from Green Bay Packers star wide receiver Greg Jennings.
Budget picture
On Tuesday, Angela Edholm, the district's business manager, gave a presentation on the 2011-12 budget, during the budget hearing and annual meeting.
She informed those in attendance that the district's 2011-12 revenue limit is $8,646,000 and that it will receive $6,130,191 in state aid.
For this year only, she said, the district is getting $35,000 in low revenue ceiling aid from the state. Without it, the district would have being looking to make up a difference of $2,515,809, and that would have been the tax levy. With the $35,000, the levy dropped to $2.480 million.
In all, the 2011-12 district budget - adding all of its expected expenditures from all of its funds together - will be $11,456,734. Fund 10, which represents the amount budgeted for in-struction, includes $9,388,404 of that figure.
The rest of it includes the special projects fund, the food service fund, and the community service fund.
Once the tax levy had been approved at the annual district meeting, it was sent to the regular board meeting, where the board approved it.
After much investigation, the board finally, on Tuesday, committed to the Dean Health Care plan for employees.
Previously, some employees had expressed reservations about the Dean plan and whether it would allow them to be able to stay with the doctors they have now, especially those who have to go outside of Grant County for service.
However, with board members and teachers having scrutinized the plan, many of those concerns have been addressed.
"I haven't been able to find any problems with it; nor has anybody else," said Randy Moret, board mem-ber.
Stan Fritz, another board member added, "With health insurance, you think you're going to be able to compare apples to apples, but you can't compare delicious apples to MacIntosh. What I'm getting from the community is, it's a lot of dollars on the table."
Fritz was referring to the $550,000 in potential savings offered by the Dean plan.
A month ago, Dr. Smith was charged with the task of looking further into other alternatives. One of those was WPS.
Dr. Smith said he met with WPS representatives on Tuesday morning and that they "exhausted the possibilities" of the WPS bid.
"It wasn't in the ballpark," said Dr. Smith, who informed the board that the WPS bid was $1,100,000 off the mark.
Dr. Smith also said he wanted the district's attorney Eileen Brownlee to look at the Dean policy before the district gives final approval.
Officials from TRICOR, which is negotiating with the district on the Dean plan, told the board that even with Tuesday night's commitment, the district still has the right of first re-fusal before the plan goes into effect on Jan. 1.
During his principal's report on Tuesday, Bell attempted to clear up the rumors regarding a potential Greg Jennings visit.
Bell told the board that the football team had entered a contest to have the team receive a visit from Jennings and a trip to A&W to have root beer floats with the Packers wide receiver.
Bell said the team had received notification that it had won the contest. However, Bell added that nothing had been set up as to who was going to meet with Jennings, when it was going to happen or how it was going to be set up.
In a series of personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of longtime custodian Chuck Owens.
Elementary Principal Rick Walters said that Owens will be missed. Teachers in the audience echoed the sentiment.
Also, Sarah Pegram was approved for a part-time early childhood teacher position, and Dawn Kendrick was approved fill a Title 1 teacher position for teaching reading. Lastly, the board approved the resignation of Diane Trumm as wrestling cheerleader coach.
During his district administrator's report, Dr. Smith informed the board that some walnut trees were causing problems in the staff parking lot south of the elementary building.
Dr. Smith, after expressing his love for walnut trees, said they were becoming a hazard, having damaged trucks, cars, windshields "and now, people."
Actually, only one of the walnut trees is on school property. The building and grounds committee will look into having it replaced.
The other two sit on neighboring properties, and district officials said they would talk to the owners about possibly trimming the trees.