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Lakewood’s financial future looks bright to 2021

HEBRON- – Lakewood Schools’ financial future looks bright going all the way into 2021.

Lakewood Treasurer Glenna Plaisted presented the district’s five-year financial forecast to the Lakewood School Board Oct. 12.

“Currently the district is in good financial condition,” Plaisted said. “We do have some capital outlay projects we will be working on over the next 18 months; however, the district is heavily reliant on the revenues from the two emergency levies. The loss of these revenues would significantly impact the financial condition of the district.”

But, Plaisted said the district doesn’t have to run to the ballot with more levies immediately. “The board has not decided when they will return to the ballot for the levy renewal,” she said. “They can go back to the ballot for the fiveyear emergency levy renewal in May or November in 2017 or 2018. For the 10-year emergency levy renewal, the district can go back on the ballot in May or November in 2019 or 2020.”

Plaisted said both levies would be renewals, so the dollar amount the district collects would be the same as it is currently collecting. The millage or tax rate should be lower thanks to expected increases in property valuations.

Plaisted said the five-year renewal levy approved by voters in May 2013 generates $2,353,259 in district revenues, which is collected from real/tangible taxes, rollback/homestead, and the related tangible personal property reimbursement. This levy collection will expire fiscal year 2019.

District voters approved the 10-year levy Nov. 2, 2010, which generates $3,538,880 in district revenues, which is collected from real/tangible taxes, rollback, and homestead. It’s levy collection will expire fiscal year 2022.

Superintendent Mary Kay Andrews emphasized that she not discussed the timing to put any additional levies before voters.

Plaisted said capital outlay expenditures for fiscal years 2017 through 2021 were estimated using a five percent increase. Fiscal years 2017 through 2021 include the purchase of two school buses each year. The district made several large capital improvements during fiscal years 2016 and 2017 including high school auditorium lighting, $247,553; parking lot concrete, $118,227; roofing at Jackson Intermediate and Lakewood Middle schools, $173,787, rooftop units at Jackson Intermediate School, $47,501; a fueling station, $81,154; hiring of an architect for athletic stadium renovation; and an architect was selected for new and existing facility needs. For fiscal year 2018, $1,500,000 were allocated to improve and upgrade existing facility needs, including middle school restrooms and other projects to be determined.

In other district news,

• School board members approved the superintendent’s staffing recommendations including:

Non-Coaching Supplemental for the 2016-17 School Year- Amanda Ewing, HS Jr. Class Advisor at $1,720 – Group V E.

Jackson Intermediate Tutor for After School for the 2016-17 School Year at $25/hour- Martha Cable

Home Instruction Tutor at $25/ hour for the 2016-17 School Year- Timothy Scott Coffey, Retroactive to 9/26/16

• The board approved a onetime contribution to an employee’s health savings account for initial enrollment effective Jan. 1, 2017 at 50 percent out-of-pocket ($2,750 family; $1,375 single) and employee agreement to minimum stipulations for contribution.

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