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$27.26 million budget gets preliminary approval from school board Tuesday
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A 2014-15 budget topping $27.26 million won preliminary approval from the Antigo school board Tuesday, the final step prior to a public hearing and adoption in August.

The action came at the board’s regular July session, which also included a look at maintenance projects and several lengthy reports on academic monitoring.

According to Business Manager Mary Jo Filbrandt, the budget calls for general fund expenditures of $27.261 million, an increase of $441,261, funded by a levy of $9.429 million.

The levy represents a 4 percent increase, or $361,478, and will likely result in a mill rate of $8.87 per $1,000 of equalized valuation, a 3.86 percent, or 33 cents per $1,000, jump.

Filbrandt warned that the tax rate is subject to the final equalized valuations set by the state, and she said a drop in those values is likely.

“Be prepared for that,” she said.

The budget includes $640,000 for maintenance projects, including $400,000 allocated from the fund balance; $150,000 for technology changes; and staffing changes including an additional high school Spanish/English teacher, overload sections at the high school, and a half-time elementary principal to allow for a full-time curriculum director.

There are also allocations for professional development; continued curriculum replacement; and a staff salary increase.

Savings include a 3 percent decrease in health insurance costs, equivalent to $110,000; replacement of retirees and longtime instructors with employees at the lower end of the salary schedule, $250,000; and replacing T-1 lines at the rural schools with wireless connectivity, $40,000.

In maintenance matters, the board authorized spending $6,000 to replace worn carpeting in six classrooms with tile, the first in several maintenance projects slated for the upcoming school year.

Other projects, subject to board approval, include replacement of lawn mowers at Spring Valley and Crestwood; purchase of a delivery van; and asbestos abatement at Crestwood.

The district may also retain a mechanical engineer to look at ventilation projects at North, East, West, Pleasant View and Crestwood elementary schools.

In other business, the board approved the $45,000 bid of C.R.K. Enterprises LLC for 2013-14 construction house. The board waived its previous requirement for a $49,000 minimum bid.

It also inked transportation contracts with Mid-Wisconsin Buses Inc. and Malliette Bus Company, which are in the fifth year of a five year contract.

The pact calls for a 2 percent rate increase for 2014-15.

The board accepted the resignations of Anna Lund, special education instructional assistant at North; and Elizabeth Gomez, interpreter.

New hires include Jessie Dixon, school nurse; Colleen Berkhahn, elementary and high school instructional interventionist; Michael Wanninger, high school German; Nicole Bunce, high school English; Alyssa Carlson, elementary instructional interventionist; and Quinn Hrdlicka, high school counselor.

The board completed its revamp of its committee structure by naming members. The Policy Committee will include Tim Fuller, Gary Jaje, Jeanne Long and Jessica Meade. The Community Relations and Communication Committee will be made up of Tara Guelzow, Scott Jensema, Dr. Patrick McKenna and Jim Schulz. Dates and times of meetings will be determined by a consensus of the committees.

The board will also meet as a committee of the whole, to handle issues such as academic monitoring reports, on the first Wednesday of the month.


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