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Nevis School levy stable; locker room to be renovated

The Nevis School District’s truth in taxation hearing drew no residents this week, but had they arrived, they would have learned the 2016 maximum levy of $908,277 is down by $15.79 from this year’s.   “The financial status of the district remains solid due to a combination of factors,” Superintendent Gregg Parks wrote in a memo. “These include increased state aid, a growing economic outlook for the state and increased enrollment.”  The audit for the year ending June 30 reported a general fund balance of $1.7 million, a “solid financial base for our district,” Parks said, the amount exceeding 20 percent reserve.  The levy, by fund, includes $499,989, in the general fund which is a 4 percent change from the 2015 levy. The Community Service fund levy is $37,999, a 9.23 increase, and the general debt service levy is $370289, a 5.73 percent decrease.  

Historically, the local tax levy peaked in 2001 with an amount of $1,389,204 with the lowest in 2002, amounting to $167,256. The average levy over the past 10 years is $733,810, Parks reported.  Anticipated revenues next year, based on a conservative estimate of the number of students, are $7,042,652 with expenditures of $7,107,594. Costs per pupil are $9,252, superintendent Gregg Parks said, which “compare well with schools across the state of comparable size.”  Revenues include $4,848,180 in state aid, 69 percent; federal aid, $237,996, 3.3 percent; operating referendum, $194,520, 2.7 percent; miscellaneous, $120,137, 1.7 percent; special education, $458,606, 6.5 percent; levies $908,292, 12.8 percent and other aid, $274,921, 4 percent.  Salaries account for 56 percent of expenditures, $3,968,793, the district employing 203 people, 90 on a full-time basis. Benefits total $1,023,456, 14 percent. Total anticipated expenditures, including purchase of services, supplies and other, are $7,107,594.  

“There will be a deficit in the Community Service fund as we continue to offer an extensive Early Childhood program that cannot be fully funded through levies or fees,” Parks explained.  In other action, the board:  n Approved a girls’ locker room renovation project at an anticipated cost of $340,000. The improvements will address the ventilation system and bring the facility into Title IX compliance.  n Heard from Hubbard in Prevention director Angela Graham on the program geared to “help youth grow into healthy, productive adults.”  The focus of the program is prevention, she explained, presenting statics showing students who drink alcohol at 14 or younger are seven times more likely to become dependent upon or abuse alcohol later in life.  Students not using alcohol were more likely to get higher grades and less likely to cut class, the study found.  

The strategies are implemented in the schools, with youth receiving alcohol prevention curriculum and forming groups. Parents are provided with positive parenting messages. And in the community, employees are trained in responsible beverage serving and compliance checks.  The grant funding the program will end in June, with HIP asking that a permanent paid position be created  to address alcohol and drug prevention among youth.   

- Accepted the resignation of educational assistant Donna Lindow, who’s been with the school since 1993.  “It will be hard to replace someone like this,” Principal John Strom said. “She is someone who will definitely be missed.”  

- Reported enrollment of 597 at mid-December.  

- Approved social studies major Markki LeBlanc as a student teacher for the remainder of the school year.  

- Reported the federal Every Student Succeeds Act will go into place in 2017, with the district to gain information on the implications in the next couple of months.  

- Approved a work agreement with Katrina Carrier for services as a homebound coordinator for the school.  

- Approved Gerald Grosskreutz as junior high girls basketball coach.