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ACGC OKs $2.4M levy for 2014

GROVE CITY – For the second year in a row the levy for the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District is decreasing.

At their meeting Monday, the ACGC School Board approved a levy of $2,362,923.

That’s nearly 4 percent lower than this year’s levy of $2,460,269.

Business Manager Dan Tait said the decrease of 3.96 percent is due, in part, to fluctuations in how student reimbursements are figured and because of revenues from the health and safety levy were used a project to encapsulate lead paint in the Atwater Elementary School gym.

Tait also said because there are just two bond payments left to make on the high school building, the district now knows exactly what those payments will be, which makes it easier to know how much to levy.

The building bond will be paid off in 2015, which Tait said will result in a “significant” levy reduction in 2016.

The levy includes $1,256,693 in local funding for the general fund budget of approximately $8.5 million. ACGC’s general fund budget also includes the transportation budget.

The levy also includes $173,165 for the community service fund and $933,063 for debt service.

Meanwhile, the board is expected to ask voters to approve an operating levy in November of 2014.

Superintendent Sherri Broderius said it’s likely the board will not ask voters to approve a new tax increase but to extend the current operating levy for several more years.

Tait said it’s expected there would be a “net zero impact” to taxpayers.

After going through several difficult years of being in statutory operating debt and having some disappointing test scores, ACGC has money in its reserve fund and has won state recognition for quickly turning around student test scores.

“Why go asking for more money if what we’re getting is giving us this level of success,” said Tait, explaining why the current plan is to maintain the current operating levy.

Broderius said the recent successes at ACGC were because of a “lot of hard work” by staff and students.

On Monday the board approved goals for 2014 that included renewing the operating levy and bringing that question to voters in November.

Also at their meeting:

- The board was informed that salary negotiations are underway but that an agreement would not be finalized by the end of this year.

- The board was shown a trophy the district received last week from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ annual Local Government Innovation Awards. ACGC elementary was one of six winners in the school category.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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