NEW BREMEN – New Bremen school district taxpayers will be seeing a reduction in their real estate taxes in the next two years, according to a report to the New Bremen Board of Education on Monday night.
In a prepared statement, New Bremen school treasurer Jill Ahlers told the Board of Education that refinancing a portion of the bonds on the new K to 6 grade building has resulted in $1,742,564 in interest savings.
Ahlers said although the exact millage is yet to be determined by the county auditor, “It is our understanding that the county auditor plans to reduce the District bond millage by 1.10 mills in tax year 2022.” The statement continued, “Assuming the District’s tax base remains stable, we will be able to further reduce the bond millage by 0.50 mills in tax year 2023.” The resulting total millage reduction of 1.60 mills will result in an annual tax reduction of $56 for a $100,000 home.
Superintendent Jason Schrader said that in addition to the reduction in millage and significant interest savings over the term of the bonds, the system has seen an upgrade in the district’s rating from A1 to Aa3. The superintendent said Moody’s Investor Service indicates an A1 rating is considered good quality while Aa3 indicates a high quality rating.
“We are very proud that we achieved a bond rating upgrade of “Aa3”. Not only did it help us sell the bonds at lower interest rates, which increases savings for our taxpayers, but as importantly it demonstrates how strong the school is managed financially and the strength of our community, including our election history,” said Schrader.
In other business, the board approved the 2022-23 school calendar, which calls for school to begin on Aug. 24 and end on May 25. Graduation will be on May 21. Schrader said the start date coordinates with those of Celina Schools and TriStar Career Compact.
Under new business, Schrader said he was meeting with Garmann Miller in January for a needs assessment involved in building a bus garage. The unit would include vehicle storage as well as a maintenance bay for repair work. He said the district would be setting aside funds in anticipation of the new project. The district has nine buses.
In his report to the board, Junior/Senior Principal Marcus Overman said that in preparation for their Washington D.C trip, he has been meeting with the 74 ninth-graders registered. He added that as they arrange for room and bus assignments, individual student information must be submitted to Bob Rogers Travel by mid-January, which is twelve weeks in advance of the trip.
He said that, following the eighth-grade orientation on Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m., they will be meeting with seventh-graders at 7:30 p.m. to discuss their Washington D.C. trip.
Overman also said that their sophomores visited TriStar vocational school and that 31 were interested in attending their programs.
Elementary Principal Dianne Kramer said that the results of fall third-grade state reading tests should be in on Monday, Dec. 20. Those who did not pass will be invited to attend two-day-a-week after-school intervention starting in February.
She said the OTES 2.0 evaluation system is moving along. Since this is the first year using the system, all teacher ratings will be carried forward from last year except for teachers who are up for contract renewal.
Finally, she said the annual Christmas Craft Sale for elementary students and staff was on Dec. 15–17. One benefit of the sale is to help the special education students learn about purchasing, selling, earning profits and consumer service.
Under personnel matters, the board agreed to raise substitute pay to $100 per day, up from $85. The superintendent said this raise would bring up their compensation equal to most other districts. He added since substitute teacher qualifications had been reduced to a high school diploma and a background check, the numbers of subs had risen.
The board also agreed to maintain the $40 per meeting fee for attending board meetings. It was noted the amount had not been raised since 1997.
The next time the board will meet is Jan. 12, with an organizational meeting at 7 p.m. and the regular meeting at 7:15 p.m.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.