Twin Bridges School to run building reserve levy, no general fund levy
The Twin Bridges School Board met on March 20 for their regular meeting and talked school levies, and heard an update from the Town of Twin Bridges regarding a storm water project.
During their regular meeting, the board heard from two Business Professionals of America members after their participation at the state BPA meet. Ruth Redfield and Andrianna Pollorena gave a short PowerPoint presentation on BPA and some of the successes of the Twin Bridges BPA Chapter, which includes two state officers, seniors Savanna Stewart and Redfield.
The board also hear brief updates from both Principal Tammy Demien and Superintendent Chad Johnson, before moving to a discussion surrounding the upcoming school election and whether or not to pursue any levies. Demien reported her students participated in Read Across America Week and staff was now preparing for parent-teacher conferences and the kindergarten roundup. Johnson updated the board the about his students’ success, which included a successful season for both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams, student science fair participants and the BPA chapter. “I just cannot say enough about our kids.”
The board has three trustee positions up for election; one two-year term, which is currently being filled by Steve Janzen and two three-year terms, held by Joan Phillips and Randy Lowder. “Generally, we never have three trustee positions at the same time, but Steve was appointed for one year,” said Johnson. Those interested in a trustee position have until March 29 to file to appear on the ballot and until April 5 to file as a write-in candidate. The board did approve moving to a mail-in ballot; voters can bring their ballots to the school by 4 p.m., which will be taken to Virginia City on May 8.
Talking budget, Johnson recommended the board look at a levy increase in the building reserve fund, but not ask for a general fund levy. Johnson said an increase to the building reserve fund would allow the school to replace 17 steam traps in the main gymnasium, as well as fix the thermostats, air dryer and air pneumatics in the elementary building. The board unanimously approved the increase to the building reserve fund.
Because of last year’s legislation and law change to permissive levies, schools, in an effort to be more transparent, must post estimated changes or increases in permissive levies. While just estimates at this point, Johnson recommended the board approve a resolution that suggests possible increases in revenue/mills from the adult education fund, bus depreciation fund, transportation fund and tuition fund. “I don’t expect an increase in the transportation fund at this point, but I do expect an increase in the tuition funds,” said Johnson. The tuition fund provides for students with high needs, which more and more schools around the state are seeing an increase in. The board unanimously approved the resolution but have until Aug. 25 to officially set their budget for the 2018-2019 school year.
Prior to their regular meeting, board members and administration met with representatives from the Town of Twin Bridges to continue discussion on the sidewalks, curbs and storm water drain project. The town, along with a financial contribution from the school, received funds that would cover phase one of the project – sidewalks, curbs and gutters. However, the funds would not cover phase two of the project, storm water drains which has a price tag between $300,000-$400,000. Without phase two of the project, phase one cannot be completed, according to the Town.
Both the board and Town agreed further discussion was needed before any decisions could be made moving forward.