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SCC Board schedules $23 million referendum for Nov. 4

In an efficient hour and a half meeting Monday night, the St. Croix Central School Board unanimously approved a total of nine resolutions authorizing the potential expenditure of more than $30 million including a 2014-15 tax levy of $5,183,088 and $23.995 million worth of general obligation bonds to pay for additions and renovations to all three district buildings pending a referendum scheduled for November.

The board ended up adopting the number originally recommended by the Facilities Task Force (FTF) of $23.995 million worth of improvements across all three school buildings to accommodate the needs of an enrollment projected to grow at a rate 2 percent annually into the foreseeable future.

“One of my concerns is sticker shock. The goal of the FTF was to generate future facilities for this district for the next ten years barring any dramatic change in enrollment,” said Board President Howard Kruschke.

The board dropped $300,000 estimated for the replacement of boilers at the high school and added $16,000 to the estimate for renovation and relocation of the district office to the bank building on Davis Street in Hammond to arrive at the final figure.

As legally mandated by Wisconsin State Statute, the board also approved a resolution to exceed  

the revenue cap limit by an amount not to exceed $300,000 beginning with the 2015-16 school year. The funds will be used for the purpose of paying District operation and maintenance costs including the hiring of a new school counselor.

“The actual costs incurred are projected at $384,000. So the district will still absorb approximately $84,000 of those projected costs based on the assumption that enrollment will continue to increase,” said Superintendent Tim Widiker.

Both matters will be settled by voters of the St. Croix Central School District by referendum on Nov. 4.

Following a detailed review of the revenues and expenditures for the 2014-15 budget by District Business Manager Jennifer Kleschold, the board approved a tax levy of $5,183,088 for the 2014-15 school year with an approximate mill rate of .01054317 based on an estimated 2 percent increase in property values (actual mill rate to be determined after receipt of 2014 valuations in October). $5,183,088 represents an increase of 3.95 percent over the 2013-14 levy. The levy will be used to fund 10 budgeted expenditures of $15,187,201; fund 30 budgeted expenditures of $1,926,304; and fund 80 expenditures of $76,500.

The board also approved the temporary short-term borrowing of up to $600,000 to pay for current operating expenses until state aid is received.

Kleschold also provided the board with a summary of energy performance savings as a result of the implementation of facility improvement measures (FIM) across all three buildings. The summary reports actual savings of $39,139 through June 25, 2014, $1,153 ahead of projected savings.

Other business:

  •  The board resolved to purchase Supplemental Accident Insurance on all students 4K-12 from First Agency, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI.
  •  The board resolved to rent approximately 4.8 acres of land on the west campus in Roberts to Mark Hamlin at a rate of $40 per acre at a total of cost of $192 per year extending an agreement scheduled to expire March 30, 2018.
  •  The board resolved to rent approximately 4.0 acres of land on the east campus in Hammond to Ken Rich Farms at a rate of $75 per acre at a total of cost of $300 per year extending an agreement scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2017.
  •  The board approved keeping compensation and expense reimbursement for Board of Education members at the current rates: President - $700, Clerk - $700, Treasurer - $700, All Members - $50 per meeting, $60 per day outside district and $35 per committee meeting.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the St. Croix Central School Board is Monday, Aug. 18, starting at 7 p.m. at the Middle School Library.