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Property tax levy to drop next fiscal year

By ANDREA FURLONG

Taxpayer in the Williamsburg School District will see a small decrease in the property tax levy for fiscal year 2011.

The budget the board proposed at its March 17 meeting decreases the property tax levy by 4 cents from $14.30 to $14.26 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. Despite a $2 million drop in income taxes paid in 2008, the board will keep property taxes low, by lowering its cash reserves by approximately $100,000 to $400,000.

The Williamsburg School Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2011 budget Wednesday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m., in the library of Williamsburg High School.

BUDGET REDUCTIONS

In anticipation of potential further cuts in state aid and accompanying economic woes, the board approved $212,000 of cuts proposed by superintendent Dr. Carol Montz. The cuts include:

• Retirement of two long-time teachers (savings of $28,000).

• Elimination of three certified teaching positions ($110,000).

• Elimination of two one-half non-certified positions ($36,000).

• Reductions in extended contracts and overtime ($4,000).

• Reductions in contracted days for secretaries ($2,500).

• Requesting volunteer ticket takers at some events ($3,200).

• Charging extracurricular programs travel fees ($5,000).

• Reductions in FICA/IPERS ($23,000).

OTHER BUSINESS

• The board approved the 2010-2011 school year calendar, with the first day of school to start Aug. 19.

• The board approved the 2010-2011 course description book. The following classes were added: advanced art (an independent class for students who have completed every art class available for a particular medium), personal wellness (focus on weight-lifting and cardio), as well as an “early bird” physical education class for non-music students from 7 to 8:15 a.m. Principal Lynell O’Connor also announced swimming will be required for all freshmen. Students will not be allowed to repeat the class. Classes cut include chemistry (now split into two courses), intro to technology (involves same projects junior high students do in Gateway to Technology program), intro to mechanics, advanced composition, advanced weightlifting, weightlifting, aerobics, advanced swimming, German and journalism (the district does not have a certified teacher to teach the course).

• The board approved a $36,000 quote from Midwest Dennis and Track, Denison, for resurfacing of the track.

The next board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 14, in the media center of Williamsburg High School.

UPDATED April 10, 2010 10:58 AM

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