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Greenfield schools present flat levy at annual meeting

Tax hike expected to be well under 1 percent for 2012-13

Sept. 4, 2012

Greenfield - At the Greenfield School District annual meeting, residents will review a proposed $45.5 million budget for the 2012-13 school year that calls for a nearly flat property tax levy.

The annual meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Greenfield High School Performing Arts Center, 4800 S. 60th St.

At $25 million, the proposed levy is 0.26 percent or $63,737 higher than the levy for last year. It would support a proposed budget of $45.5 million, of which $35.68 million would be for the general fund - basically the operating budget. That is barely higher than last year's $35.65 million general fund.

In July, when the School Board approved the preliminary budget, spending would have been slightly less than last year.

Dips in spending

The district refinanced about $13.7 million of its debt, so the total proposed spending plan for 2012-13 cannot be directly compared with last year's nearly $59.3 million total expenditures. But, comparing the $45.5 million 2012-13 proposed plan with total spending in 2010-11 yields a 1.9 percent over the two years.

The district will save about $80,799 in capital spending in the new year because expenses from work at Greenfield High School are pretty much over, said Kristen Kollath, director of business services.

At the same time, spending for community service would dip a bit, to $434,431, from last year. The district didn't use all the money it set aside for community service last year because of lower-than-anticipated salaries and benefits and because the district didn't have to replace any equipment or do any major maintenance on community service related equipment or facilities, Kollath said.

While the pay and benefits areas were decreased to reflect that, the maintenance/replacement budget remains the same as the 2011-12 budget.

Health plan adjustments

The budget also contains a second year of district contributions to individual employees' health reimbursement accounts. The infusions of $1,500 for a single plan and $3,000 for a family plan are meant to help employees cope with the new dramatically higher health insurance deductibles of $2,000 for a single plan and $4,000 for a family plan.

The contribution brings the out-of-pocket cost for deductibles to $500 on the single plan and $1,000 for the family plan. The board gave the same contributions last year.

The proposed budget also would increase the number of sections at Glenwood Elementary School, where enrollment increases are expected. School officials want to avoid having class sizes in the mid-30s.

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