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November 15, 2018

11/1/2018 1:26:00 PM
Highland Board of Education adopts 2018-19 school budget, mill rate drops 3.48 percent
At the Highland School District Board of Education annual meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 24, the board adopted the 2018-19 budget coming in at $4,295,832 up from $4,023,453 for the previous year. The tax levy will be at $1,372,727 down 3.48 percent from last year's $1,422,213 resulting in lower taxes - down from $13.57 per thousand of assessed value to $13.20 per thousand.
At the budget hearing, the board also approved the district audit for the succeeding year, transportation of students resolution, the school lunch program, Highland State Bank as the school district depository, and the date for the 2019 annual meeting to be held sometime between the last Monday in September and the last day of September. Additionally, board salaries and reimbursements were passed with no changes from last year: board members will be paid $30 per committee meeting while the president, treasurer, and clerk will make $45 per board of education meeting with the other board directors being paid $40 per meeting.
In other business:
The board accepted the snow plow bid from Benish Construction as it was the only bid received on time. Of note, the school will now do the direct purchasing of salt and salting their own sidewalks as Highland School District Administrator Nancy Hendrickson explained they had gone through an inordinately large amount of salt last year according to the previous company. "We paid just around $10,000 last year for salt alone," she exclaimed. "We'll save money by managing the salt ourselves." Benish will be responsible for snow removal and salt distribution on the driveway and parking lot. The contract is for three years.
In their report to the board, school administrators Josh Tarrell and Hendrickson explained that they had been approached by Belmont Schools to do a football co-op with Highland being the host school. Tarrell explained that Belmont has low numbers out for football and had approached other schools close to them, but none had been interested - no decisions have been made as Highland is still in the midst of this football season, and there are many unknowns about the football realignment still. "There'll be a change in 2020, but nobody knows what it'll look like," Hendrickson said. "We're going to keep communicating with other schools and the community and being pro-active. We're at the mercy of other forces for now. We've done whatever we can for Highland football viability." When more is known about the football realignment, the administrators hope to have a community meeting down the road to gauge reactions/feelings/ideas.
The next regularly scheduled Highland Board of Education meeting is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.

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