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Jasper County Tribune

Colfax-Mingo approves $15.5M budget

Board approves shared mowing agreement with City of Colfax

COLFAX – The Colfax-Mingo Board of Education unanimously approved $15.5 million 2018-19 budget Monday evening.

This is about a $2.38 million increase from previous year. According to Board Secretary Deb Hodgson, the reason for this rise is because increased student enrollment and increased amount levied on property taxes.

In FY 2017-18, the district was budgeted to receive $4.885 million in state foundation aid and $3.182 in taxes levied on property. For FY 2018-19, the district budgeted $5.195 million in state foundation aid and $3.371 million in taxes levied on property.

Despite the increase in revenue and increase on property taxes levied, the district’s tax levy rate will see only a slight increase in FY 2018-19 compared to the previous fiscal year– $18.27 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $18.37 per $1,000. The board secretary said the increase was probably the result of a rise in property values in the area.

Hodgson said the district experienced an increase in carry over funds compared to prior years as the district continued to maintain and control expenditures.

For FY 2018-19, the district estimates it will have about $10.818 million in overall revenue and $9.533 million in total expenditures. The previous fiscal year, C-M had $10.287 million in overall revenue and $9.924 million in total expenditures.

That evening, the board approved a few resolutions to help offset its accrued debt from previous bonds.

One resolution passed is to levy property tax for FY 2018-19. This tax will help pay the district’s outstanding debt, which includes two bonds approved in 2005 and 2013.

The surplus levy of $282,905 will be used to pay off the bonds sold for the remodeling and additions at the C-M Jr/Sr High School and C-M Elementary School.

To help maintain the 2018-19 levy rate, the district voted to use $220,000 from the funds gathered in one-cent sales tax to be used on the 2005 bond series, which were bonds also sold to remodel the high school.

The 2005 bond series, which allocated $725,00 for high school renovations, will phase out in 2025. The 2013 bond series, which allocated $3.785 million for high school and elementary school renovations, will phase out in 2024.

Shared Mowing

After months of discussion with the City of Colfax, the board unanimously approved a 28E agreement with the city to share mowing labor and equipment.

Under this agreement, the city will provide mowing and trimming services to three district properties in city limits – the C-M Administrative Building, C-M Elementary School and C-M Jr/Sr High School. The properties cover about 10.5 acres of land, according to city documents.

According to the agreement, the district will be charged by the city for costs associated with mowing the properties, such as the hourly rate of the mower, hours used in mow preparation, fuel and other materials used to perform the service. This does not include indirect costs, such as overhead expenses.

The city has been advertising that the part-time workers will be paid at a rate of $12 per hour.

The district and city will also split the expense of new equipment, such as a mower and weed eater. City and district officials confirmed a mower will be purchased if the agreement is finalized.

The agreement is still in need of approval of the Colfax City Council, which is expected to go to a vote April 9.

The district is still negotiating a deal with the City of Mingo. The district is responsible for mowing about seven acres at its Mingo properties.

If Mingo and C-M do not decide to share mowing services, the district may request the City of Colfax mow the properties in Mingo.

Superintendent Jim Verlengia and board member Jan Myers were not in attendance for Monday’s special meeting.

Contact Anthony Victor Reyes at areyes@jaspercountytribune.com.

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