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Referendum is a go for fall
Superintendent stresses plans improvements
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All the talk around the area about a School District referendum election in November is no longer just talk.

At a special meeting last Thursday, the Hillsboro School Board took the big step of unanimously approving the following actions:

• Resolution authorizing the School District budget to exceed revenue limit for recurring purposes.

“Be it resolved by the School Board of the School District Hillsboro, Vernon, Richland, Juneau, Sauk, and Monroe Counties, Wisconsin, that the revenues included in the School District Budget be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $250,000 for the 2014-2015 school year, by an additional $100,000 for the 2015-2016 school year for a total of $350,000, and by an additional $150,000 for the 2016-2017 school year, for a total of $500,000 for the 2016-2017 school year and thereafter, for recurring purposes consisting of maintaining educational programming and maintenance.”

• Initial resolution authorizing general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $1,500,000.

“Be it resolved by the School Board of the School District of Hillsboro, Vernon, Richland, Juneau, Sauk, and Monroe Counties, Wisconsin that there shall be issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in the amount not to exceed $1,250,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of District buildings and grounds improvements, including improvements to the high school library, parking lots, and athletic fields and surfaces.”

• Resolution providing for a referendum election on the questions of the approval of a resolution authorizing the school district budget to exceed revenue limit for recurring purposes and an initial resolution authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $1,500,000. Approved a referendum date of Nov. 4, 2014.

School Superintendent Curt Bisarek commented on the importance of many improvements that are part of the plan, including major changes in routes used by buses and parents when picking up and dropping off students. He stressed that the main factor in many of the changes is the increased safety of the students.

Improvement of athletic areas includes increased safety for participants, especially those using the track that needs to be resurfaced. Competing schools are also concerned about their athletes running on an old surface.

A new softball diamond is being considered in the plans for the area between the school buildings that is used for football practice. There is a concern that students are  currently riding their bikes on State Hwy. 33 when going to see a Tiger softball game at Fireman’s Park.

Bisarek told the Board that the safety of all students is the first thought when planning on any changes.  He summed up the importance of the entire plan by telling the Board, “We need to do this in order to maintain our already strong school district programs.”

Other business

In other business, the Board:

• Unanimously accepted, with many thanks for the years of service, the resignation of Food Service employee Pat Copus;

• Approved a 3% increase on routes with Stenerson Bus Service for the transportation of students;

• Approved the second reading of the Chromebook Acceptable Use Policy;

• Approved the first reading of a policy regarding animals on school grounds.

Animals are not allowed on school grounds during school hours or school events. Exceptions include licensed service dogs for individuals with an appropriate disability, and certified search dogs accompanied by law enforcement. Other exceptions may be granted for curricular reasons following approval of a written request to the building principal.

This policy does not preclude pet owners from walking their leashed animal on the public sidewalks bordering Mill St., Hillsborough Ave., and School Road. Owners must pick up and properly dispose of any and all animal waste left by such animal on school property and are subject to local laws and ordinances pertaining to animal control.

• Approved new athletic pass rates, including a plan allowing Hillsboro students free admission.

The rates are: Family, $60; couple, $50; adult (post-high school), $30; non-enrolled minor, $20; student (grades 6-12) free with Hillsboro student ID, student (Pre-K-5), free with accompanying paid adult; senior citizens (60+), free.

These passes are good for the 2014-2015 school year and include football, volleyball, wrestling, girls’ basketball and boys’ basketball contests at Hillsboro High School. These passes may not be used at WIAA sponsored tournaments. Passes may be purchased at the high school office.

The senior citizen Scenic Bluffs Conference passes are good from year to year.

• A Student Council request for a Homecoming bonfire was tabled by the Board pending more information and a presentation by the Student Council at the Sept.  9 board meeting.

• Following a closed session, the Board hired Toni Tengblad as Musical Director.