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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Skyline School lowers mil levy

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  • Valuations are up and the mil levy is down.
    With the increase in valuations across the county, the Skyline Board of Education was able to lower their mil levy to 46.4 mils, a drop of 2.7 mils from the 2012-2013 mil levy of 49.1 mils, said Skyline Superintendent Mike Sanders at the 438 BOE meeting Monday night.
    The lower mil levy is expected to bring in more money than last year because of the increase in valuations. The 46.4 mils are expected to bring in $6.6 million as opposed to the $6.0 million from 49.1 mils for 2012-2013.
    Most of the increase in valuations is from the activity in the county in the oil and gas industry. Some increases in residential valuation also contributed to the overall increase in available tax funds.
    Also helping to keep the mil levy down is the 97 to 98 percent of people who are paying their taxes on time, Sanders said.
    Besides the increase in valuations, the district was able to carry over $222,000 in supplemental funding from the previous school year. That is almost the same as the district would earn with nine mils.
    "That cushion is a good thing to have," Sanders said.
    The budget is based on an estimated 415 students for this school year.
    The two-day enrollment period ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday night. The district knows that several families have moved into the area and the counting continues.
    With a final total of 397 students at the end of the 2012-2013 school year, the enrollment total for 2013-2014 should reach over 400 students.
    Sept. 20 is the traditional day when school districts take their population counts and the district is anxious to see what the numbers will be.
    Even with the increase in valuations, the district is striving to save as much money as possible. Those efforts have cut August expenditures about $70,000. That is good news since the district had to spend some $100,000 for roof maintenance.
    Another part of the maintenance at Skyline is refinishing the gym floor. Sanders said Masco, the company hired for the job, had done a poor job and the area under the east bleachers had small sticks in the finish. The playing surface appeared to be OK but the finished product was not good.
    "We will not use Masco again," Sanders said.
    The gym floor was also in danger of water damage from the storm earlier this month that produced 100 mph winds. The building held tight against the rain but the wind was so strong it blew water under the doors on the east side of the gym.
    High School Principal Herb McPherson was checking on the building and discovered the problem. He got some towels and was able to keep the water from getting on the floor.
    Page 2 of 2 - While the building was OK, the property did lose five trees, four from the cedar tree row and one from the behind the weight room. They were old trees and the stumps will be ground down.
    In other action:
    • The Board approved Dave Schmidt for boy's middle school assistant basketball coach.
    • Amy Swonger and Kayla Durall were approved to drive a suburban/van for Adventure Academy.
    • Cescha Hoffman resigned her teacher's aide position for maternity reasons.

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