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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo School District Annual Meeting Approves 2017-18 Budget

Peshtigo School District at its annual meeting on Tuesday, October 30 approved the 2017-2018 tax levy along with the budget. Board President Gary Larsen was elected as temporary chairperson for the meeting. Superintendent Kim Eparvier announced the good news that, "With acceptance of this levy the tax rate will drop from $9.11 per $1,000 to $8.14 per $1,000, which amounts to a decrease of $.97 cents".

The total school levy for the 2017-2018 school year was accepted at $2,558,103 compared to the current year's levy of $2,773,880. With the decreased rate, as an example, on a $100,000 home this results in approximately a $97 reduction in taxes based on equalized value.

The debt levy of $409,850 was approved. This is up from $406,450 last year. Total long term debt at the end of the year is to be $2,575,000, down from $2,915,000 at the end of last year.

Eparvier said "With the tax rate going down, that creates less of a financial burden on our tax payers, and as you know, we are looking at going to referendum in April or November of 2018. Should that be the case, even with a successful referendum, the tax levy is going to be near or just over the state average, with either a renovated building with a new addition or a brand new school. It is good news for Peshtigo".

Factors that contributed to the tax levy decrease include growth in the overall equalized value of the district, an increase of $200 per student in categorical state aid, and holding down planned expenditures to a minimal $33,937 budget increase, from $12,982,684 to $13,016,620 for this year.

Payments for students coming to Peshtigo from other districts under Open Enrollment brings an added $1,376,556 to district income, up from $1,153,476 last year.

Eparvier said "I think we are financially sound in the district. We haven't had to go to operational referendums. We are a low spending school district. Relative to the state average, we're about $1,200 to $1,300 below the state average". Positive enrollment and money coming into the district helps to take off any burden to the taxpayers when the district doesn't have to go to an operational referendum.

In other action, a resolution was authorized for short-term borrowing from Peshtigo National Bank to meet operational expenses due to delayed state aid payments owed to the District. In the past, the district would enter into an agreement with the Peshtigo National Bank to borrow money until state aid was received and the interest would amount to $18,000 to $20,000 or more per year. The adopted resolution will allow the district to borrow the amount needed on a short term basis and will be paid back once the state aid is received, which will result in approximately $1,000 in interest versus the high interest amount on the prior agreement, which results in a savings of approximately $18,000 to $20,000 or more.

The meeting included approval of routine resolutions authorizing the district to pay actual and necessary expenses for board members when traveling outside the district on board duties, with mileage to be reimbursed at the current federal rate; sell or dispose of any property, excluding real estate, if no longer needed by the district; furnish breakfast, lunch and milk to any and all students and pay any differences between costs and amounts charged, furnish supplies for all students as determined by the annual meeting or the school board; provide for prosecution or defense of any legal actions through the annual meeting in 2018 and in general authorized the School board to continue and maintain the district's operations, in accord with proper procedures and state laws to which it is obligated.

At the school board's regular monthly meeting that immediately followed the budget hearing and annual meeting the board formally adopted the budget for the 2017-2018 school year and the tax levies to support it as approved by the Annual Meeting.

Also mentioned at the meeting was the hiring of two new coaches, including Mike Fisher as JV and Freshman Boys Basketball Coach and Katie Baxter as JV Girls Basketball Coach.


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