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School tax levy budgeted to go up about one percent
at North Crawford
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The North Crawford School Board has approved the 2014-2015 budget to be presented at the school district’s annual meeting scheduled for Monday, Sept. 29.

The budget, which may undergo some adjustments in October after the final numbers are available for state aid and equalized values, includes a slight increase in the district mil rate to 9.77 per $1,000 of equalized property value, up from 9.68. The total tax levy for 2014-2015 increases to $1,756,5021, a difference of $17,254 (.99-percent) from the previous year.

The levy increase represents the difference between the increase in the revenue limit and projected state aid, which is also expected to increase.

The 2014-2015 revenue limit increased to $4,664,562 from $4,623,997, a difference of $40,565.

State aid is expected to increase to $2,881,950 from $2,858,644.

The budget currently estimates revenue for this school year at $6,056,607 with expenses coming in slightly higher at $6,107,797.

That deficit is expected to be significantly lower in practice, according to North Crawford School District’s new business manager, Dmitri Andrews.

Andrews, a former business education teacher who recently graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in school business management, noted that the budget has to be made before the final numbers are in from the state and that the shortfall is expected to correct downward as the year progresses, as it has in years past.

“Overall, the costs in the district are slightly higher, which is reflected in the higher numbers,” Andrew said. “This is due primarily to changes to the health insurance costs and slight salary increases.”

Any shortfall will be covered by the school district’s fund balance, which Andrews estimates at $2.5 million. The fund balance consists of cash, cash equivalents (i.e. investments), and non-cash components (i.e. taxes receivable, payables).

“We got just under a one-percent increase, which we are very pleased with,” said school administrator Dr. Daniel Davies.

The annual meeting dates are mandated by state law, Davies noted, so North Crawford holds their meeting as late as allowable in order to have the closest to accurate numbers possible.

Health cost related discussions occurred both in open and closed session of the board meeting.

The board approved a change to the staff insurance, which results in higher deductibles. Single staff will see their deductible increase from $2,500 to $3,500. Family coverage will increase from $5,000 to $7,000.

The school board also approved the district’s contributions to the staff Health Savings Accounts (HSA) at $2,185 single/$4,730 family.

In other business, the North Crawford School Board:

• tabled NEOLA school board policy action;

• tabled discussion of co-curricular staff pay;

• approved hiring Nicole Nelson as a bus driver;

• approved Dala Hyney as the sign language interpreter;

• approved spelling correction revisions to the employee, transportation handbook; and

• accepted the resignations of bus driver David A. Berg and North Crawford School Board Member Christina Volden.