The regular December 14 meeting of Lanesboro School Board began with SmithSchafer’s presentation of a summary of the 2021-2022 audit.
The audit was “clean”; it showed an average daily membership (adm) of 412 students in 2022. This was up from an average of 350 several years ago. The levy has been staying about the same, but expenditures rose with the addition of four regular teachers and a SPED teacher this year. Daycare was also expanded.
Food service showed an increase in funding due to federal covid money, but the school spent the fund down to a $65,000 balance. Community service fund balance showed a positive balance for the year.
Regular instruction cost per adm was above the average of surrounding districts; district and administrative costs were a little higher than the state average, but the general fund cost per adm was lower than average.
Truth in taxation meeting
At the required truth in taxation meeting, Superintendent Matt Schultz shared more information about the levy and how it is determined. As usual, the board adopted the maximum levy in September, knowing they had the option to adjust it downward in December.
For the 2020-2021 school year the total revenues were $6,268,947 and expenditures were $6,115,512. The 2021-2022 school year showed a total revenue of $6,974,964 and expenditures of $7,070,976. The proposed total tax levy for 2023 (payable in 2022) was $1,074,012.81. This is actually a decrease of $20,921 (or -1.91%) from the previous year.
Schultz clarified that while the school was levying less than last year, individual taxes may still show an increase based on an increase in the market value of the property. He noted that Lanesboro does not have an operating referendum, unlike most of the schools in their conference.
There were no public comments or questions during the truth in taxation meeting.
During the regular board meeting, the board approved the audit as well as the certification of the truth in taxation compliance and set the final property tax levy at the maximum which will result in a decrease of 1.91%.
Supply chain issues continue to badger Lanesboro School. Schultz informed the board that the long awaited solar panels had finally been delivered and moved to the roof of the school. They have yet to be installed. The permit for the work will expire at the end of December. Hopefully, they will finally be installed; the panels were originally ordered in December 2019.
Due to the increase in students, more lockers were needed. Twenty new lockers were installed over summer, but another 20 lockers were ordered when school started. They were supposed to be delivered in October, then November, then tomorrow, and now they won’t arrive until the end of January.
Panic bars that were to be installed in the child care area still have not been installed. While the bars are at the school, the set locks have not yet arrived.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the hiring of Bobie Langaniere in food service; Thomas Brudvig as a van driver; and Allison Braaten as an instructional/special education aide;
• Heard that the district office has cases of covid tests which are available to Lanesboro School families at their request;
• Were reminded that the MSBA leadership conference was set for January 12-13; Schultz encouraged the board’s attendance, noting it was a good opportunity for networking and learning a lot;
• Thanked Dave Lawstuen for his service in filling a vacant seat on the board; Lawstuen quipped that this was his second retirement from the board.
The next regular meeting of the Lanesboro School Board will be January 11, 2023, at 7 p.m. in the Lanesboro Schools Forum. The public is welcome to attend; a public input period is held at the beginning of each meeting.
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