Tax levy set at White Lake at upbeat annual meeting Tuesday|
|Superintendent Bill Fisher offered an upbeat assessment of activities in and around the White Lake school Tuesday evening at the district’s annual meeting.|
But he admitted there were problems that are being currently addressed to make repairs.
The meeting drew about a dozen electors from the district that covers a good portion of eastern Langlade County. During all of the resolutions that required of voters only one “no’’ was offered, and it went unexplained.
The meetings, established for common school districts to establish their levy and tax rates, set narrowing authority for the board to handle sales and purchases and more, are traditional in Langlade County at the White Lake and Elcho districts.
Antigo, which is a unified system, does not have that requirement for public contact.
Fisher worked through the elements that make the district work, including its vision to maintain and support a small, rural school and provide “personalized learning” to the students.
He called the addition of five new staff members “exciting,” and praised the work of volunteers in the district.
“We are planning a banquet,” suggesting a honor and recognition program for the people who offer their time and efforts to the school district.
The administrator said the dedication and spirit in the White Lake district is highly unusual, with both parents and students working to improve the facility and its education.
Fisher explained the shared services with Elcho, including his position as administrator/superintendent, technical support, a vocal music teacher, a foreign language instructor, and occupational therapist and more.
The state-issued report cards for school districts suggests White Lake is one of the trouble spots, which he addressed.
“We have work to do,” he said, citing the figures. “We have a great school and we are working on it.”
White Lake was relatively low in the ratings issued earlier this year, but much of that can be attributed to the sparse student count.
He also touched on enrollment, which isn’t what it was years ago, but is not rolling along too poorly at 206.
Then the major business of the session came to the floor, the budget.
Fisher said he and the board recommended a total levy of $1,873,281, an increase of $49,990, or 2.74 percent.
Figuring equalized valuation of $163,197,886, the district is anticipating a mill rate of $11.48 per $1,000 of equalized valuation, up 21 cents.
That means that the owner of a $100,000 home will pay $1,148 in taxes to finance school operations, an increase of $21.
School taxes make up only a portion of the overall bill. Levies for the county, municipality, technical college and state must all be added before the total is determined.
The levy will be split between the district’s three political units, the village of White Lake based on their equalized valuation. Property owners in the town of Wolf River will cover 68.46 percent of the levy; followed by Evergreen at 19.66 percent; White Lake, 9.66 percent; and Langlade, 2.22 percent.
While the levy is showing a modest increase, other portions of the budget are declining.
The Fund 10 budget, which covers most school operations with the exception of debt service, is figured at $2,780,686, a decrease of $422,196, or 13.18 percent, due largely to the completion of the school’s Recreation Center project.
And the district is receiving less from the state as well. According to preliminary numbers, White Lake will receive general aid of $464,119, a decrease of $82,373, or 15.07 percent.
After Fishers remarks and the budget review, the traditional business of the annual meeting went quickly.
With no discussion, the handful of electors approved:
—Setting the annual salaries of board members, and authorizing the payment of their expenses, which stayed the same.
—Allowing the district to pay for any legal proceedings in which it may become involved.
—Authorizing the board to furnish student textbooks, school lunch and breakfast, and purchase or sell real estate and old or surplus property.
—And allowing the district to borrow when necessary for school operations.
Before the annual session, and after it, the board of education held its regular monthly session.
The annual session ended in slightly more than one hour.
White Lake District Administrator Bill Fisher reviewed budget numbers and athletic facility plans at Tuesday's annual meeting.
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