Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY SCHOOL DIST. 833 DEC. 5 MEETING MINUTES

Friday, January 17, 2014 - 11:20pm

District 833 School Board Regular Meeting for December 5, 2013
Official Clerk\'s Summary
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District 833, South Washington County, was held on Thursday, December 5, 2013. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Ron Kath at 6:30 p.m. at the District Service Center, located at 7362 East Point Douglas Road South, Cottage Grove, MN. School Board members present were Marsha Adou, Tracy Brunnette, Jim Gelbmann, Laurie Johnson, Ron Kath, and Katy McElwee-Stevens. Board member David Kemper was absent. Superintendent Keith Jacobus was present.
Chairman Kath provided an update to the recent School Board recount. Because of the narrow margin between the fourth and fifth highest vote getters for four-year School Board terms, candidate Molly Lutz of Woodbury submitted a request for a recount immediately following the canvassing on November 12th. Washington County, Property Records and Taxpayer Services Department, was hired by the school district to conduct that recount and did so on Thursday, November 21 and Friday, November 22. The recount included only those votes for Sharon Van Leer and Molly Lutz. At the beginning of the recount, five votes divided the two. The findings were as follows:
•In Woodbury Precinct 3, there was a write in for Sharon Van Leer that was not counted in the original numbers. This resulted in one additional vote for Sharon Van Leer.
•In Woodbury Precinct 4, a voter did not use the ovals correctly but it was determined that the vote was for Sharon Van Leer. This resulted in one additional vote for Sharon Van Leer.
•In St. Paul Park Precinct 3, the voting machine accidentally read a dot next to Sharon Van Leer\'s name. It was determined that this was not a vote for Sharon Van Leer since all of the other ovals were completed correctly. This resulted in one less vote for Sharon Van Leer.
In the end, Sharon Van Leer was awarded one additional vote due to the write in. This resulted in six votes dividing the two candidates with Sharon Van Leer still listed as the winner. The School Board will reflect this change on the official "Abstract of Votes Cast" and file that with the legal election documents.
A motion was made and seconded to approve the meeting agenda. Motion was carried.
Aaron Bushberger, Director of Finance, presented information on the tax levy for taxes payable in 2014. According to Minnesota statutes, School Districts must hold a public (previously was known as \'Truth in Taxation\') hearing to present information related to the taxes payable in 2014 and allow for public input. School funding is highly regulated by the state. The state sets formulas which determine revenue and most of that revenue is based on specified amounts per pupil. The state sets tax policy for local schools as well. In addition, the state sets maximum authorized property tax levy totals.
Washington County mailed proposed property tax statements in November to district residents that reflect the proposed levy that was approved by the School Board on September 26th, 2013. Since that time, the district held a referendum on November 5th, 2013 and two of the three questions were passed, which will change the amount of the final levy. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released the final levy report on Tuesday, November 26th.
The total 2014 proposed property tax levy increased from 2013 by $1,880,963 or 3.5%. This amount includes the renewal and the increase of $337 per pupil in the operating referendum levy approved by voters on November 5. It also includes a reduction of approximately $800,000 from the initial proposed levy since the school district does not plan to levy its full authority for the ATPPS (Alternative Teacher Professional Pay System) program.
The 2013 Legislature approved significant changes in school funding formulas which will affect tax levies payable in 2014. State aid for operating referendums was increased, resulting in reductions in tax levy for most districts. The state allowed some districts to add new board-authorized referendum revenue and location equity revenue. The state also added a new "student achievement levy" which will fund some of the basic general education revenue for all districts. State aid for operating capital revenue was also increased, resulting in reductions in tax levy.
Many factors can cause the tax bill for an individual property to increase or decrease from year to year including changes in value of the individual property, changes in the total value of all property in the district, and increases or decreases in levy amounts caused by changes in state funding formulas, local needs and costs, voter-approved referendums, and other factors.
During the referendum campaign, the district estimated that if residents passed Questions #1 and #2, the tax impact on a $250,000 home would be a $61 increase from last year\'s taxes. At that time, it was estimated that the tax value of all of the property in the district would stay constant from the previous year (the total tax value decreased 4% from 2011 to 2012 and 6% from 2012 to 2013). However, updated information from Washington County shows an approximate 4% increase in tax value for the district. By having a larger tax base, the increase in taxes are more spread out. The final estimate of the increase in taxes on a $250,000 home is $22. Residents will not see the exact information for their property until the final property tax statements are mailed by Washington County in March of 2014.
Chairman Kath asked if anyone from the audience had any questions or comments related to the proposed levy or their property tax statements. There was none. Aaron stated that the School Board will certify the final 2014 property tax levy at their regular meeting on December 19, 2013.
Motions were made and seconded to approve the agendas. The consent agenda contained retirements, resignation and terminations; leaves of absence; and new employees/change of status.
Keith Jacobus, Superintendent, presented a proposed resolution for the school district to withdraw from the East Metro Integration District (EMID). The Joint Powers Agreement for the East Metro Integration School District (EMID) outlines the procedure for school districts to apply to join EMID and the process to withdraw. A member district may choose to withdraw by a majority vote of its school board. Notice of a school district\'s intent to withdraw must be made in writing to the EMID board by February 1st and shall be effective on June 30th of the calendar year following the notice of withdrawal. To allow South Washington County Schools to explore and consider all options as they strive to meet the requirements of the World\'s Best Workforce and based on the EMID Joint Powers Agreement, a letter of intent to withdraw from EMID has been created to give time to study options. By doing so, the district will have ample time to explore potential options that may provide improved opportunities and efficiencies, as well as find out how the new legislation will impact their work. This submission does not bind the South Washington School District from withdrawing from EMID. It simply creates the option to determine the best manner for the district to meet the needs of their students. A motion was made and seconded to approve a resolution on their intent to withdraw from EMID. Motion was carried.
Mike Vogel, Assistant to the Superintendent for Operations, presented a proposed Review and Comment for 2014 Alternative Facilities bond projects. The school district is required to submit a School Board approved Review and Comment to the Minnesota Department of Education prior to issuing bonds for a project. South Washington County Schools is seeking approval to finance work contained in its 2014-15 and 2015-16 ten-year alternative facilities plan through a combination of alternative facilities bonds and alternative facilities pay as you go levies. The principal project contained in these plans is the replacement of HVAC systems at 3 elementary buildings. The school district has performed an assessment of the ventilation systems at Bailey, Middleton and Grey Cloud elementary schools and has determined that the building mechanical systems are ineffective, maintenance intensive and aged beyond their expected useful life.
The school district is proposing to replace the mechanical ventilation systems at the 3 elementary schools and simultaneously complete several deferred maintenance projects in those buildings during the spring/summer of 2014 & 2015. The work proposed at the 3 elementary schools is consistent with the mechanical system replacements and related work approved by the Minnesota Department of Education and performed at 8 other elementary schools since 2004-2005. Further, the district proposes to perform deferred maintenance and repair projects at various buildings including painting, tuck pointing, replacement of casework, water heaters, water softeners, kitchen hood exhausts and windows, and repair of bathrooms, pool areas and boiler stacks. As with the ventilation projects, the deferred maintenance work is proposed to be carried out over two spring/summer time periods beginning in the spring of 2014 and ending in late summer of 2015.
The estimated cost of the alternative facilities projects is $15,393,193 with inclusion of $2,250,000 of non-alternative facilities funded work. The total project cost over the two-year period is $17,643,193. The estimated tax rate payable in 2015 for property owners would be $19 annually on a $250,000 residential homestead. The proposed ventilation system replacements and deferred maintenance and repair projects are needed to assure that the district\'s aging facilities continue to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment that serves the educational and community needs of its constituents for the foreseeable future. Administration recommended approval of the authorization to submit the Review and Comment to MDE seeking approval to proceed with the construction activities included in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 alternative facilities plans. A motion was made and seconded to approve the recommendation as presented. Motion was carried.
Denise Griffith, Director of Human Resources, presented compensation recommendation for Independent Non-Bargaining employees in Tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Tier 1 Employees
•Steps and salary increases are 1.4% in year 1 and 1.4% in year 2
•Insurance contributions:
-District contribution for Open Access and Select Plans, both single and family, remains the same as 2013, for both 2014 and 2015.
-District increase in contribution to Open Access High Deductible Plan for single to $607.64 in 2014 and $638.10 in 2015. Family district contribution increases to $1,559.24 in 2014 and $1,640.79 in 2015.
-District contribution toward Open Access High Deductible Plan VEBA stays at $100 per month for single and $200 per month for family.
•District TSA match of January 2014 will increase from $3,000 to $3,500
Tier 2 Employees
•Steps and salary increases are 1.5% in year 1 and 1.5% in year 2
•Insurance contributions:
-District contribution for Open Access and Select Plans, both single and family, remains the same as 2013, for both 2014 and 2015.
-District increase in contribution to Open Access High Deductible Plan for single to $607.64 in 2014 and $638.10 in 2015. Family district contribution increases to $1,559.24 in 2014 and $1,640.79 in 2015.
-District contribution toward Open Access High Deductible Plan VEBA stays at $100 per month for single and $200 per month for family.
•District TSA match of January 2014 will increase from $3,000 to $3,500
Tier 3 Employees
•Steps and salary increases are 1.6% in year 1 and 1.6% in year 2
•Insurance contributions:
-District contribution for Open Access and Select Plans, both single and family, remains the same as 2013, for both 2014 and 2015.
-District increase in contribution to Open Access High Deductible Plan for single to $607.64 in 2014 and $638.10 in 2015. Family district contribution increases to $1,559.24 in 2014 and $1,640.79 in 2015.
-District contribution toward Open Access High Deductible Plan VEBA stays at $100 per month for single and $200 per month for family.
•District TSA match of January 2014 will increase from $2,500 to $3,000
Tier 4 Employees
•Steps and salary increases are 1.7% in year 1 and 1.7% in year 2
•Insurance contributions:
-District contribution for Open Access and Select Plans, both single and family, remains the same as 2013, for both 2014 and 2015.
-District increase in contribution to Open Access High Deductible Plan for single to $607.64 in 2014 and $638.10 in 2015. Family district contribution increases to $1,559.24 in 2014 and $1,640.79 in 2015.
-District contribution toward Open Access High Deductible Plan VEBA stays at $100 per month for single and $200 per month for family.
•District TSA match of January 2014 will increase from $2,250 to $2,750
A motion was made and seconded to approve the recommendation as presented. Motion was carried.
The meeting adjourned at 9:12pm.
This information is only a summary. The full text is available for public inspection at the administrative offices of the school district or at www.sowashco.k12.mn.us .
1/22/2014


randomness