The Menahga School Board agreed to set the preliminary payable 2021 levy at $1,528,277, the maximum allowable amount set by state formula. They met Monday, Sept. 21.

The proposed 2021 levy includes $469,678 for the general fund, $40,504 for community service, and $1,018,094 for general debt service.

The final levy will be set at the board’s truth in taxation hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.

The board also approved a resolution putting an operating levy of $180 per pupil on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The resolution states, “Menahga Public Schools believes it is fiscally prudent to utilize the state equalization of an operating referendum instead of levying local property taxes and recognizes that replacing local taxes with an operating levy will positively impact the community by replacing total local property taxes of approximately $115,000 with state aid.”

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With this resolution, Superintendent Kevin Wellen said this school board promises to take taxes paid 100 percent by local property taxpayers “and trade them for the levy, which is 62 percent state aid, and has potential to go up if there’s another special session.”

The resolution continues, “Menahga Public School Board fully intends to financially support local taxpayers through the reduction of all unequalized local school taxes provided the operating levy for $180 per pupil on the ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 election passes.”

The estimated net tax savings to the community is approximately $115,000.

“The whole purpose is to assure the community that, if the operating levy passes, you will under-levy,” he said. “This is definitely a benefit to our community, strictly to reduce taxes.”

The “biggest winners,” Wellen continued, are commercial businesses and farmers. Businesses worth $500,000 will see $300-400 savings each year.

In other business, the school board did as follows:

  • Approved an Eide Bailly audit engagement amendment, at a cost of $3,000, due to a federal audit being triggered by the district serving breakfast and lunch to 1,000 students per day from March through June 2020. “We generated so much revenue, we hit the threshold of requiring a federal audit of federal programs,” Wellen explained, adding expenses were also generated.

  • Accepted a $3,260 Gen Youth Action for Healthy Kids grant.

  • Accepted $500 donation each from the Shane Keranen Memorial Fund to baseball, boys basketball and girls basketball.

  • Approved a letter of agreement addressing compensation for coaches and co-curricular advisors during the 2020-21 fiscal year if seasons are shortened or cancelled.

  • Approved the EMM paraprofessional master agreement for 2019-21.

  • Approved the substitute teacher pay and miscellaneous reimbursements.

  • Approved lane change requests from Ashley Bachmann, Christin Mohr, Allison Schmitz, Isaiah Hahn, Ashley Walvatne and Elizabeth Hahn.

  • Approved a child care leave request from Zach Kaiser from on or about Dec. 1 and ending after Dec. 18.