Clintonville voters OK lower school levy

Board president favors new elementary school

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Taxpayers in the Clintonville School District will pay slightly less in school taxes this year.

Voters agreed at the district’s annual meeting Monday to a tax levy of $5.99 million, compared with $6.17 million last year. The estimated tax rate will be $10.52 per $1,000 assessed valuation, compared to $10.84 last year.

Owners of a $75,000 home can expect to pay $722 school taxes this year, compared with $746 last year.

The final budget and levy won’t be determined until after the official enrollment count is taken in September and the state releases its equalized valuations in October.

The rate discussed Monday assumes no change in the district’s equalized valuation. However, district officials said the equalized values might be down again this year.

The enrollment of 1,439 students last year was up 48 over the previous year, Superintendent Tom O’Toole said. Enrollment is one of the factors in determing how much state aid the district will receive.

In comments at the meeting, board president Jim Dins said he supports a new grade school for the district.

A committee is finalizing a survey that will be mailed to district taxpayers in September asking for their opinion on what to do with Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School, whose complex includes the former high school built in 1918.

Rexford school was built in 1956. The two-story Longfellow addition was build in 1964. A cafeteria and classrooms were added in 1992, and office space was added in 1996.

In the survey, taxpayers will be asked if they want to maintain the 1918 structure, maintain and update Rexford-Longfellow, replace the complex at the existing site or do nothing.

Dins also said he would like to see the district work more with local industries and others to develop skilled labor.

“Not every kid is going to college. Maybe a two-year degree in the trades is better,” he said. “I hope we work more for the trades.”

Voters at the annual meeting also kept salaries of school board members at $90 per meeting and $50 per in-service meeting. Officers receive an additional $250 annually, and members of the negotiation committee receive $300 annually. Policy/personnel committee and finance committee members receive $20 per meeting but no more than one paid meeting per month.