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NLS levy to drop in 2015

NEW LONDON -- Following a truth-in-taxation hearing Monday, the New London-Spicer School Board gave final approval to a $3.8 million tax levy for next year.

NEW LONDON - Following a truth-in-taxation hearing Monday, the New London-Spicer School Board gave final approval to a $3.8 million tax levy for next year.
The levy, which is payable in 2015, is a 3.05 percent decrease from this year’s tax levy of $3.9 million.
The total levy includes the general fund, community service fund, debt service fund and a school land trust fund.
The district’s general fund levy decreased by
6.4 percent.
The downward dip in the levy is primarily because the district’s technology levy, which raised
$1.5 million over the last three years, will expire.
That revenue was used to upgrade Internet capabilities in the school buildings and to purchase such equipment as smart boards and iPads for classrooms.
Superintendent Paul Carlson said that short-term levy helped prepare the district for the “next step” in digital technology.
The School Board on Monday night also approved a plan to mail surveys to all mailbox holders in the NLS School District after the holidays that will ask residents’ opinions about current and future building needs. The board hopes that information gleaned from the survey will provide answers on why voters in November said no to a ballot question proposing a $14.6 million capital improvement project.
After reviewing a revised version of the survey questions, the board “tweaked” some of the wording to include more specific information in the remodeling portion of the plan, Carlson said.
Because there may be multiple voters in each household, Carlson said people can request additional hard-copy surveys or additional codes if they prefer to respond to the survey online.
Surveys must be completed and returned by Jan. 26.
“We’re hoping for a good return,” said Carlson, adding that information in the surveys will help the board determine future action regarding a building project.
In other action:
• The board did not take action on a proposal to enter into a partnership with a Milan company to install large, rooftop solar panels on the elementary school. Instead, the board agreed to turn the proposal over to student groups, including the Youth Energy Summit organization, as a research project. The district is also working with the Kandiyohi Power Cooperative on renewable energy projects, including solar power.
• The board approved requesting quotes for transportation services for the 2015-16 school years. For the last four years, NLS has contracted with Palmer Bus Service. Other companies have expressed interest in bidding on the contract.

Related Topics: SPICEREDUCATION
Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
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