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White Lake school board sets funding referendum for Nov. 14
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Voters in the White Lake school district will be asked to approve $250,000 in spending above and beyond state-imposed revenue limits in November.

This week, the White Lake school board unanimously approved the paperwork necessary to hold the spending referendum, which will be identical to an April ballot question which failed by two votes.

“We have a seven member board and all of them were in favor of moving forward with this vote,” District Administrator Bill Fisher said. “We have lots of review and discussion and this vote really shows confidence in the plan we are putting forward.”

The district is seeking $250,000 annually above state-imposed revenue limits for the next three years. The dollars would replace a $200,000, three-year referendum that expired at the close of the 2013-14 school year and would be used to maintain existing programs.

Cost to taxpayers would be 87 cents per $1,000 of equalized valuation, or $87 annually for the owner of a $100,000 home.

Without the dollars, officials have warned that the district could face a deficit in excess of $267,000 for the upcoming year, a substantial number for the school that operates with an overall budget of about $3 million.

The district floated its first successful revenue-limit exemption in 2001, with voters approving them since until the April vote. The amounts had ranged from $200,000 to $250,000 annually for three to five years.

Immediately after the April defeat, the board regrouped and decided to move forward with an identical plan in November.

“Right after that vote, community members encouraged the board to come back and try again,” Fisher said. “That signifies that there is an understanding of district needs and represents the board’s commitment to be fiscally responsible while meeting the needs of the students and the taxpayers.”

The board approved two resolutions. The first authorized the district to exceed state-imposed revenue limits by $250,000 for three years for non-recurring purposes. The second one set the referendum date for Nov. 4 as part of the regular fall election.

Fisher said the district will hold a series of informational meetings prior to the vote.

“We’re hoping for a better voter turnout,” he said.

In other business, the board approved a shared service agreement with the Elcho school district for technology support.

The two small districts share teachers and support services in a number of areas, including Fisher as joint administrator.

The board also received updates on the construction of a new softball field adjacent to the school; approved handbooks for substitute teachers, volunteers and transportation, and extended its contract with Lamers Bus Company.

In personnel matters, the board increased compensation for support staff by 1.46 percent, equivalent to the consumer price index. It hired Dennis Zopp as 4K-12 art teacher and Patty Wahleithner as a special education aide. Andrew Sexton, the district’s business education teacher, was named assistant football coach and Dave Graves was named junior high girls’ basketball coach.


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A file photograph of the White Lake school.
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