Vandalia school levy OK’d

The Vandalia Board of Education on Tuesday approved an aggregate tax levy totaling $3,291,947. That amount is nearly $151,590 (4.83 percent) more than last year.

To generate that amount, the tentative tax rate is 3.6064, down slightly from last years rate of 3.6088.

In the proposed levy, the major category increases are $78,454 in educational, $35,178 in tort immunity, $21,319 in operations and maintenance, and $8,528 in transportation.

The actual amount generated, Superintendent Rich Well told the board, will be determined by the equalized assessed valuation of property in the county. That EAV has yet to be set by county officials.

The big key for us as a district is the increase or decrease of the EAV, Well said. This year, the signs are that it will stay about the same. But this is all tentative until the EAV comes out.

Were asking for about the same amount; weve tried to stay with our plan. If the EAV changes, then our percentage (of increase) could change minimally.

Well said Wednesday morning that the Vandalia district is probably one of the few districts in our area thats doing less than a 5 percent increase. Those districts with more than a 5 percent increase must hold a truth in taxation hearing to explain the hike to taxpayers.

The districts tax levy request will be delivered to the clerks of Fayette and Montgomery counties this week.

Also at Tuesday nights meeting, Well told the board that, despite the failure of the Gov. Rod Blagojevich to sign a state budget, the district is operating on a so far, so good basis.

Were still at the mercy of the governor, Well said. If hed sign (the budget), it would mean a significant amount for us (because higher enrollment numbers will mean more state aid coming to the district). As it is, were still operating on state aid at last years level.

Getting a budget passed, he said, would be a benefit to our kids and our district.

During his report to the board, Well said that the projects in the first two phases of the districts Health Life Safety work had been completed and approved by the state. The district will now start on the third phase of the building improvements mandated by the state those being outdoor security vestibules, indoor security measures, alarms and improvements to doors in district buildings.

After a brief executive session, the board took the following action:

Approved bids from South Central FS for gas and diesel for the 2008 calendar year. FSs bid was the only one received by the board, Well said. Prices are $2.96 per gallon for gas and $3.20 per gallon for diesel.

Approved the sale of the final piece of the Bresee property. (Revenues from that sale will go into the education fund, Well said.)

Employed the following volunteer coaches for Vandalia Junior High School: Tammy Issaha and Brianna Taylor for fifth- and sixth-grade girls basketball, and Brock Brannon for seventh-grade boys basketball.

Employed Brandon Taylor as the VJHS Scholar Bowl coach.

The schools will dismiss at 2:15 p.m. this Friday and will be on Christmas break until Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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