VANDALIA — When voters go to the polls on Nov. 3, the Vandalia-Butler City Schools will have a few items to vote on.
The first is Issue 11 which asks voters to renew a 7.11 mill levy that generates $4.447 million annually for the school district.
The levy, which has been in place since 1994, accounts for just over 13 percent of the district’s annual revenue.
Voters will also elect Mary Kilsheimer and Rodney Washburn to the Board of Education. Kilsheimer is a current member of the Board and Washburn will be replacing Raymond “Bud” Zupp who did not run for re-election.
During the Candidate Forum on October 15, Board of Education President Bruce Sucher pointed out that the new building going up next to Butler High School is a new library – not a new school building. He noted that the building is being paid for entirely by a bond issue passed by the library, and no school district funds are being used.
While the district is slated to see a net increase in its state core aid over the next two years, that number is more than offset by reductions in the Tangible Personal Property tax ‘hold-harmless’ payments.
As a result, Vandalia-Butler is currently expected to see a $542,710 decrease in state funding beginning in 2016.
Sucher also noted several cost-saving measures implemented by the district including an energy saving agreement with Waibel Energy Systems, an LED lighting project that will save $250,000 in energy costs over 20 years, and a bond refinancing that will save taxpayers over $1 million in interest expenses.
While touting the district’s cost saving measures, Sucher also pointed out items labeled as “value added,” or services improved by the district. Those include:
- Aviator Connections, a means of providing alternative education options while keeping students in the district while offering them alternatives to the traditional school day. The program is aimed at students who might otherwise leave the district for charter and/or online schools.
- Reductions in walk zones for students in the new transportation contract with Community Bus Services.
- Elimination of Pay to Participate fees for academic clubs and a 25% reduction for athletic activities as well as a reduction in the per-student cap.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.