Shelbyville Daily Union

December 24, 2013

Shelby School Board approves tax levy, readies for projects

Valorie Eversole Daily Union Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union

---- — The tax levy for the Shelbyville School District was approved in the school board meeting Thursday evening. The nearly $4.55 million levy reflected a 1.7 percent increase for CPI and a 3.29 percent for new property based on the early taxable value report.

“It’s a 4.99 percent increase over last year’s extension equal to cost of living increase,” said superintendent Denise Bence. “The EAV went down this year.”

Bence also reported that the estimate for the new roof on the High School auditorium and roof is $377,000.

“We budgeted for $350,000,” she noted. “I applied for a $50,000 maintenance grant and we can use life safety funds for the difference.”

Bence told the board that they need to choose members of a committee from the general public to campaign for the sales tax referendum to be proposed on the March ballot. This will be done at the January meeting.

Shelbyville schools plans to use revenue from the sales tax for a new heating and air conditioning system for the High School building.

“The boiler system is turned on during the night and turned off by mid-morning,” Bence explained. “That is why you see windows open early in the morning during the wintertime. It’s that hot. And we are literally throwing money out the window when we do that.”

Board President Rob Bosgraaf noted that he was one of several people who did a walk-through at the high school and witnessed first-hand how the boiler system worked.

“I commend the custodial staff for their work to keep the heating system running as well as possible. It was something to witness,” Bosgraaf said.

Bence suggested that a facilities committee be appointed to evaluate Requests for Proposals to have everything ready if the sales tax referendum passes. She told the board that three companies have done a walk-through of the system and she expects three bids as a result.

Bence reported that, in consultation with transportation director Tim Powers, they are looking at purchasing two propane-powered buses.

“With the new standards for fuel for diesel buses, propane buses are a viable alternative,” Bence said.

She said they were lookin gat buses with low mileage, possibly returned leased buses, that have a handicap lift and air conditioning.

In other business the board approved participation in Safe Routes to School Grant including parent surveys about walking a biking to school.

Special Education Director Karen Miller was recognized for her work. She is retiring from her position at the end of the month.

“This is an incredible district. I’m proud to be part of it,” Miller said.

“She set a high standard here. We get calls from other districts wanting to see how this works,” Bence said