BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Delano Public Schools’ levy will decrease by about $20,448 after the Delano School Board approved a levy of about $9,365,360 Dec. 19. Business Manager Mary Reeder shared the details of the levy as part of the Truth in Taxation hearing, during which no public comments were offered.
“For our fiscal year ’17 budget, we’re looking to have the unassigned general fund balance increase by about $339,000. Overall, we’re looking at the general fund decreasing by about $103,000, but included in that is our capital (improvements) and long-term facility maintenance,” Reeder said.
The district is anticipating to spend about $10 million in the construction fund.
“We’ve spent about $4 million so far,” Reeder said. “Depending on how soon they can start in the spring will dictate how much is actually spent out of that budget.”
The debt service fund balance will increase from $511,321 to $865,636.
Community service expenditures are budgeted at $2,299,370, decreasing the fund balance to $51,917.
“A large part of that is related to the disabled child care,” Reeder said of the component expected to cost about $50,000 more in the upcoming year, though the state will reimburse that amount in two years.
Reeder also explained that the district’s operating levy will be $674.01 per student, compared to $651.51 per student the previous year, and the estimated state average of $777 per student.
The regular referendum will decrease by $326,000.
“The legislature, a few years ago, made it an option that school boards could pass a resolution and use $300 of current operating levies and make them board-approved,” Reeder said. “The old levy that was passed in 2007, to run the school building that was never approved (to be built) at that time, we used $300 per student. That’s in place for five years. At that time, the school board can have the option to renew it.”
The board-approved referendum will be $439,313 for the fiscal year 2017 budget.
Building development agreement
The board approved the building development agreement with the city of Delano with a number of changes.
The first change removes a requirement for a wetland-mitigation plan because there are no wetlands on the intermediate school site.
Another change would allow for temporary on-street parking during construction per a mutually agreed-upon plan between the city and the district.
“Obviously, when we work on these building projects, part of our parking lots are going to be taken over by the contractor for staging purposes, so we’ll need to have some alternate plans,” Superintendent Matt Schoen said. “The district will make all necessary and reasonable efforts to maintain parking on campus, but there will be times when parking could come off campus.”
All city and Delano Municipal Utilities fees will be based on 2016 rates per another change in the agreement.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• approved the personnel items, including the resignation of lacrosse coach Jaison Detweiler effective Dec. 9.
• accepted $6,815 in donations from three different entities.
• approved the second and final read of Policy 720-Vending Machines due to substantive and/or legal reference changes.