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USC’s tax levy increased 6.83 percent

By Staff | Dec 24, 2017

United South Central’s regular school board meeting started off with their Truth in Taxation hearing.

Staci Whiteside, USC’s finance manager, addressed the levy for the 18-19 year. The total levy for USC in 17-18 was $3,601,028.07 and in the 18-19 year, USC’s levy has been set at $4,454,910.96, a difference of $246,117.11 or 6.83 percent.

Whiteside stated the levy is set by the state formula. Once she explained piece by piece the difference in general revenue funds, community service, debt service and OPEB/pension funds, she opened the floor to comments and questions from both the board and the public.

There was no feedback from either the board or the public, so the USC School Board voted unanimously to pass the 18-19 levy.

Superintendent Keith Fleming spoke to the progress of USC’s strategic planning going on at the school and stated there was a strategic planning governance document being put into its final stages.

“I believe we will have a final presentation of that governance document at the end of December or in the beginning of January,” said Fleming.

He also wanted to make mention of the progress the USC School District has had within this past school year.

“I would just like to acknowledge all of the positive reports and feedback we have gotten through this strategic planning process from our community,” said Fleming. “We have heard great things of our positive school climate and our active and involved staff at all levels. We have gotten this year off to a great start.”

In other business, the School Board also:

Approved the ratification of the teacher Master Agreement for 2017-2019. Chairman Dale Stevermer made mention that the team who worked on the agreement came to the table with a “collaborative mind set and were open to good agreement.”

Increased the substitute teacher pay to $120 per day.

“The bottom line is we are struggling to find substitutes,” said Fleming. “We want our substitute teacher pay to be competitive in our area.”

Added a half day to both Thanksgiving break and Easter/Spring break for the 2018-19 academic calendar.

“This will just allow families to have a little more leeway of getting on the road for holiday travel purposes,” said Fleming. “This will not affect our direct contact days for the year.”

Considered and approved the idea of reorganizing the School Board committee structure.

Scheduled an organizational meeting of the board on Jan. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in the community education room at the USC?school and established dates, times and location for the 2018 regular board meetings.

Approved membership for the Wells Area Chamber of Commerce for designated school district employee Laura Foley.

“I think having Laura on the Chamber board will assist us in being informed of what’s going on in our area, as well as the city knowing what our students are up to as well,” said Stevermer.

Board member Jon Feist questioned whether there were other chambers of erty owned by Dennis and Diane Lutteke and a closed session regarding consideration of real property purchase of the former Paragon Bank building.

The resolution withdrawing the objection for detachment was passed, which will allow the Luttekes to detach from the city.

The resolution states, “after further review of the matter, the City has determined that it is in the best interest of all parties to allow the detachment to occur,” one of those interests being excessive taxes on the property.

The closed session resulted in the purchase of the old Paragon Bank property from People’s State Bank. This purchase will convey the bank property to the city of Wells.

There was no mention of what the City plans to do with the newly acquired property.

The next regular Wells City Council meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 8 at 5 p.m. in the Wells Community Center.