Friday, September 21, 2018

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Menomonie residents OK schools budget

» Tax rate to rise 1.1 percent  » School bus policy discussed at meeting 

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MENOMONIE — At the Menomonie school district’s annual meeting Monday, residents in attendance approved an estimated tax levy of $17.4 million.

Last year’s levy was $17.2 million. The estimated tax rate is projected at $9.76 per $1,000 of equalized valuation, which is up by 1.1 percent or 11 cents compared with the 2017-18 rate of $9.65. Equalized valuation in the district is projected at $1.7 billion in 2018-19.

Total spending is expected to be $50.8 million in 2018-19.

State aid is projected to cover 57 percent of budgeted revenues in 2018-19, which is about even with last school year.

Salaries for district employees account for $20.2 million with benefits at $10.7 million. Together these account for 76 percent of the budgeted expenses. Transportation will cover $2.3 million or 6 percent of the budgeted expenses.

The residents adopted the budget unanimously.

During the school board’s regular meeting Monday, board members addressed some concerns about the bus stops in the district.

Some complaints have come to the board this month regarding the visibility of children at bus stops and the distance a child has to travel to a bus before school.

Schools Superintendent Joe Zydowsky said there are no immediate concerns. The policy states the district becomes responsible for a child’s well-being once they get on the bus.

“It is very important that we have bus stops that are safe,” he said.

Zydowsky said this topic comes up almost every year and there are usually concerns when bus routes change.

School board member Tricia Thompson said the bus stop policy hasn’t been revised since 2008 and the city and culture have changed drastically since then.

School board member David Styer, who sits on the transportation committee, said it could cost the district if it were to overhaul the policy. This may include more buses and more drivers.

“I don’t think we can go there,” he said.

The board decided it would review other rural state school district bus stop policies, assess potential costs and discuss the matter at a future meeting.

Contact: 715-830-5840, ben.rueter@ecpc.com, @BenRueter on Twitter


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