Mill levy reduction: 6 JPS mills reduced for 2013Property owners in Jamestown will notice fewer mills for Jamestown Public Schools on their December tax statements, as the mill levy was reduced at Monday’s Jamestown Public School Board meeting.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Property owners in Jamestown will notice fewer mills for Jamestown Public Schools on their December tax statements, as the mill levy was reduced at Monday’s Jamestown Public School Board meeting.
An asbestos removal project at Jamestown Middle School was completed this past year, which will reduce the number of mills by 7. However, 1 mill was added for special assessments.
“I think the most interesting thing, as I mentioned to you earlier, is it’s about a 6-mill reduction from last year, saving approximately $250,000 to taxpayers from Jamestown Public Schools,” said JPS Superintendent Bob Toso.
Toso said the removal project was started several years ago and it’s seldom that property taxpayers see a reduction in mill levies.
“We had to borrow money to remove asbestos from the middle school,” he said. JPS still has 155.4 mills for the upcoming fiscal year.
Along with the mill levy, JPS also approved the 2012-2013 budget with a general fund projected at $24,318,892. That amounts to an estimated deficit of about $850,000 for the next school year.
The district’s interim, or reserve fund, is at $5,776,561, which Toso said will leave the board with two to three years to end deficit spending.
Toso said the general rule of thumb is that the interim fund doesn’t fall below 10 to 14 percent of the general fund. In Jamestown, he would like to see the interim fund not fall below $3.5 million.
Monday’s meeting, the only one of the month, was considered a reorganization meeting, as two board members left and the two newly elected ones took their places.
Rosemary McDougall served for eight years as a member of the Jamestown Public School Board. She did not seek re-election.
“I hope you will enjoy the challenges and experiences as much as I did,” she said to the new members. Her seat was filled by Roger Haut.
Gary Peterson, who also did not seek re-election, served for 12 years on the School Board. His seat was filled by Terry Anderson.
“I hope new members come in with an open mind and a mind of their own,” Peterson said. “It’s going to be a challenge.”
Leadership on the School Board was also reorganized at Monday’s meeting.
Roy Musland is the new president and Tanya Ostlie will keep her position as vice president.
Musland received votes from board members Ostlie, Anderson, Haut, Shelly Jystad, Diane Hanson and himself.
Former president Greg Allen was the other nominated candidate. Ostlie was the only one nominated for the vice president position.
Allen also announced there will be an opening on the North Dakota School Board Association. Allen’s current spot on the association’s board will be open as he is currently running unopposed for president of the North Dakota School Board Association. He also will become president of the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board this year.
Board members also approved to keep their pay at what it was for the last fiscal year, $200 per month per member and $250 for president and $40 for each additional meeting.
Vicki Coombs was also approved as principal for Washington and Louis L ’Amour elementary schools, at a salary of $82,000 a year. Her salary includes running the summer school program.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com