The New Richmond Board of Education approved the first of two required resolutions to place a 9.4-mill operating levy on the March 2020 ballot.
The Board’s Finance Committee met Oct. 28 and talked about the differences in levy amounts, specifically 8.9-mills and 9.4-mills, Board President Tim DuFau said.
“As a finance committee, we focused on the 9.4-mill levy mainly due to the fact of the survey that was taken by the district here recently. We had about 1,100 respondents,” he said. “Three items that were pointed out that were very important to this district that respondents would like to see continued, one being curriculum, one being safety/security, and then technology.”
Per Superintendent Tracey Miller’s recommendation, .5-mill, about $227,000 annually, of the levy dollars would be dedicated to the three key areas community members identified as very important, DuFau said.
The rest of the levy millage, 8.9-mills, would be dedicated to operations. Along with levy passage, the district will also need to create another $1 million in savings or revenue enhancements, Miller said.
The committee also reviewed progress on the reductions the Board approved last spring, Board Member Robert Wooten said.
“The nearly $3.2 million in cuts identified in the spring are now coming to fruition,” he said. “What we said we were going to do is actually coming into play.”
A 9.4-mill operating levy would generate an estimated $4.3 million annually and is crucial to the support of day-to-day operations of the district including high-quality staff, supplies, and utilities. The cost to property owners per $100,000 market value is $329 per year, less than $1 a day.
The need for this levy is due to a revenue problem caused by changes in power plants and deregulation. The district’s revenue has declined by $8 million annually due to these changes.
The Resolution of Necessity will be filed with the county auditor’s office, according to Treasurer Julia Toth. The auditor’s office will calculate the amount of money the 9.4-mill operating levy is expected to raise.
“Once we get the report back, we will recommend a Board Resolution to Proceed to place it on the ballot at the December 16 board meeting,” Toth said. "This is a two-step legal process.”
Additional financial details are available in the district's Five Year Forecast.