MINSTER – Minster residents will see a reduction in their 2020 property taxes following action by the Minster School Board at its Monday, Oct. 18, meeting.
Treasurer Laura Klosterman said due to a 20% increase in the value of real estate in 2020, the debt service fund for the middle school building project was collecting more than is needed to repay the debt. She recommended a reduction in the millage rate from 7.2 mils to 6.2 mills for tax year 2021, with the change seen in the 2022 tax bill, to be delivered December 2021. The savings would be $35 per year for a $100,000 home. The bond will be paid off in 2028.
In related news, the district levy committee reminded everyone to vote on Nov. 2 for the permanent improvement levy. If the levy is approved, the current rate of .1655254 will be increased by .25 for a total rate of .4155254 mill. This tax will cost the owner of a $200,000 home $78.97 per year, an increase of $50 over the current rate. Superintendent Brenda Boeke said legislation to watch was HB 290, “The Backpack Bill,” which is pending in the House Finance Committee. Sponsored by Reps. Marilyn John, R-Richland County, and Riordan McClain, R-Upper Sandusky, this bill would create the Backpack Scholarship Program under which all students in Ohio would be eligible for $5,550 or $7,500 to be deposited into an education savings account to be used for private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks and other allowable uses. The bill would repeal the EdChoice and Cleveland voucher programs and retain the Autism and Jon Peterson Special Needs voucher programs. She said she hoped this would not undermine the new fair school funding plan.
She shared with the board the school district report card data including scores from the last four years. Released on Oct. 14, data collected includes graduation rates, prepared for success indicators, demographic/enrollment data along with other district and school operational details.
Boeke updated the board on the goals of the Wellness Committee which are to survey staff members for interest in after school programs to support wellness and mental health and investigating the use of therapy dogs as part of guidance lessons.
In other action, the board accepted a $100 donation from Spieles Nurseries for the Kentucky Coffee Tree planted in Lisa Piening’s name as part of the Elementary Playground Expansion and $88 from an anonymous donor for a student’s Camp Wilson fee. Elementary Principal Leanne Keller shared with the board how her staff celebrated the honor of being named a National Blue Ribbon School. Students will celebrate as part of the first quarter assembly. She also reported how the Humble & Kind recognition program will honor those students and staff living the attributes.
Keller also updated the board on the Reading Improvement & Monitoring Plans as well as the number of early conferences held at the end of September. She added that the third grade reading state test will be given later this week.
Junior/Senior High Principal Austin Kaylor reported the girls’ golf team recently wrapped up their season, taking third place in the MAC tournament. First team All-MAC honors went to Layne Voisard, Ashley Meyer, and Katie Heitkamp. He also said the first “Cats of the Month,” a new recognition program to honor those students exemplifying the attribute of “responsibility,” were seventh-grader Brooke Garringer, eighth-grader Grady Hein, freshman Max Knapke, sophomore Brooke Clune, junior Jaylyn Albers and senior Reddy Bernhold. These students will receive various forms of recognition, including a “Wildcat Way” hooded sweatshirt compliments of Danone North America.
The next regular monthly board of education meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. at the elementary building.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.