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SCC Board makes final changes to budget, tax levy

The St. Croix Central Board of Education approved a series of changes to its tax levy and budget for the 2018-2019 school year at its Monday, Oct. 29, special meeting.

"The board approved a tax levy of $6,803,300 for the 2018-19 school year with a mill rate of .00999969 to support the fund 10 budgeted expenditures of $18,173,903, fund 30 budgeted expenditures of $3,580,706, and fund 80 expenditures of $405,000," said superintendent Tim Widiker.

According to Widiker, the changes to the budget were made possible by an increased student count and lower health insurance premium renewals for 2019, which left $229,000 more than the district's preliminary budget anticipated. The district estimated the health insurance increase would be around 9 percent at the annual meeting, but the actual number came in at 6.38 percent.

"Our current FTE membership for the Revenue Limit Worksheet is 1,604 FTE, bringing our three-year rolling average to 1,579," Widiker said. "Our district property valuation increased 8.31 percent from last year to $680,351,374 as compared to $628,125,833. Our mill rate decreased. At the annual meeting in July, we anticipated a .01064561 mill rate. Our 2017-18 mill rate was .01077847."

Other payroll changes included:

• Increase middle school para from three to 4.5 hours/day for study hall

• Increase high school health aid from seven to 7.5 hours/day for student health needs

• Increase middle school housekeeping from seven to 7.5 hours/day due to adding Trinity Lutheran site for cleaning

• Add vision insurance for all employees working 20-plus hours/week (12-month and nine-month support staff) starting Jan. 1, 2019

• Add one FTE virtual education school counselor starting second semester

• Add sixth grade SPED paraprofessional starting immediately

• Add 12 month SPED secretary starting second semester (calculated at 920 hours)

• Add $20,807 for prepayment of local retirement benefits

A final item added was the middle school math interventionist supply budget.

The board also allocated $125,000 towards fund balance, so that the estimated ending fund balance would be at 17.03 percent, which falls within the 17 to 19 percent the board is intent on following as part of the GASB 54 policy, Widiker said.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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