A motion passed for $17.4 million to be levied on the taxable property of the School District of Menomonie Area at its annual meeting on Monday.

Approved during the release of its budget for the 2019-20 was the adoption of tax levy for general, debt service and community service funds of the district.

The tax levy proposed was an increase of $1.5 million or 9.6 percent increase from the 2018-19 year. With expectations of higher levels of state aid director of business services Leah Theder expects the levy could decrease.

“As values get approved and say they get certified, if the state aid increases and values increase then the levy will go down because we already have an estimate that the state aid is going up. It’s very likely that this proposed levy will go down.” Theder said.

Of the tax levy being asked $13.4 million is for operations, $3.7 for debt services and $332,000 for community services. Property tax rates are tentative and will be reviewed and certified in October by the state’s department of revenue Theder added.

The general state aid increased 8.3 percent in 2018-19 and it is expected to increase 7.2 percent in 2019-20 according Theder. State aid per pupil set in state statute is set to rise to $742 in the upcoming year, compared to $654 last year.

District expenses are budgeted to increase 3.8 percent with revenues rising 2.1 percent creating a balanced budget for the upcoming school year.

The district board will adopt its final budget and tax levy on Oct. 28 once state aid calculations are available.

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Property tax rates within the district are assumed to remain the same as last year Theder said.

A motion that the board president be compensated $1,000 in annual salary and other board members $800 was also approved. Board of education members will also be reimbursed for needed travel expenses after another motion was passed.

The district also unveiled a new five year strategic plan for 2019-24 on Monday. The plan features five pillars:

  • career, college and life ready graduates
  • student social and emotional wellness
  • our talented workforce
  • parent and community partnerships
  • facilities and operations

The plan was formed over the last 18 months with feedback from community. Over 1,000 surveys were dispersed and 40 listening sessions were held district administrator Joe Zydowsky said. Each of the next five years the board will be setting goals under each of the pillars.

“We already have action steps identified for year one and we have overarching goals for each of those pillars as well, but the plan is mobile underneath those five umbrellas,” Zydowsky said.

The next session for the district board will be its twice-monthly meeting on Sept. 7.

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