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Litchfield Schools decreases levy while promoting referendum

LITCHFIELD -- The Litchfield School Board on Monday certified a 2009 preliminary district levy worth $2.9 million.

Just six weeks before presenting a levy referendum question to voters, the board certified a 4.39 percent decrease from the 2008 levy.

Superintendent Bill Wold said Wednesday the decrease is due to the district requiring less funding for health and safety necessities.

"Boards do have some flexibility to under-levy, and we did that with our health and safety," Wold said. "The bottom line is that we don't need that money. We don't need to levy that much. So we can assist taxpayers by lowering that percentage just a little bit."

Wold said the district is levying $275,000 for health and safety necessities, "which is quite a reduction for that area."

He said the certified preliminary levy would go into effect during the 2009-10 school year unless the district's new levy referendum passes in November.

The board voted in July to seek a $300-per-student boost to the district's operating levy. The district operates on a 10-year plan -- approved by voters in 2002 -- that generates $624,475 annually, or about $300 per student. If the referendum is passed, the district would implement the new $600-per-student levy in 2009-10.