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CCR-1 School Board Sets 2007-08 Tax Rate

By Mike Scott

The Clark County R-1 School Board tackled a long agenda at its meeting Monday evening, August 13.  The meeting had been moved to Monday from its usual Thursday meeting date.
Topping the agenda was the 2007-2008 Tax Rate hearing.
  CCR-1 maintains the lowest tax levy allowed by the state–$2.75 per $100 of assessed valuation, while the state recommends a rate of $3.43.  Any change to the tax rate would have to be approved by the voters.  The board approved the $2.75 levy, plus an addition $0.75 for debt service, for a total levy of $3.50 per $100 of assessed valuation, which is unchanged from 2006-2007.
“We are underfunding our district by $406,000 because our tax rate is below what the state says it should be,” said Superintendent Ritchie Kracht.
Kracht also presented the final financial report for the 2007 fiscal year ending June 30.  The district finished the year with at net gain of $3,960.90.
“I feel pretty good about how we finished last year,” said Kracht.  The district will begin the 2008 fiscal year with a total of $4,724,227.11.
The board approved a contract with Frank Millard Company for repair of the Middle School boilers.  The bid from Millard was $51,882, higher than the approximate $45,000 previously estimated.  Kracht explained that Missouri is in a different prevailing wage district that southeast Iowa, where Millard is based, and that caused the increased cost.
The board also approved an addition expense of $4724 to install zone temperature controls. , bringing the total project cost to $56,606. Without those controls, the only way to control the temperature would be to turn the boiler on and off, which is what they currently have to do.
In other business, the board accepted a bid for newspaper printing of required notices from the Hometown Journal  in the amount of $2.75 per column inch for publishing required notices.
The board voted to leave activity admission prices the same as last year.  Costs will again be $2.00 for students, $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for senior citizens 65 and older.
Food service prices will also remain the same in 2007-08.  Breakfast costs are: K-12, $1.00; Reduced, $0.30; and Adults $1.65
Lunch costs ares:  K-5, $1.60; 6-12, $1.85; Reduced, $0.40; and Adults $2.20.
The board approved a 2.6 percent increase in tuition rates for out of district students.  Sending districts, such as Luray, Wyaconda and Revere, will pay $4935.06 for elementary students, $5684.08 for middle schoolers, and $6659.77 for

high school students that attend Clark County R-1.
The board also approved the dates of Homecoming, Prom and Graduation.
Homecoming will be held Friday, September 28, against Knox County.  Prom will be Saturday, April 26, and Graduation will be Sunday, May 18.  The scheduled last day of school is May 16.
The board will allow the pre-school to start school on Wednesday because the scheduled early dismissals Monday and Tuesday do not allow all pre-school students to follow the same curriculum schedule.
The board approved a service contract for the Principles of Technology Lab, at a cost of $7,000 per year.  This fee includes updates to instructional modules, software updates, spare parts and technical support.
“We just spent $46,000 in the lab last year to bring it up top date,” said Kracht.  “If we don’t do this we’ll be right back where we started.”
Approximately 100 students utilize the lab each year.
Board member Carmen Arnold brought up a problem with the playground at Running Fox.  The sand for around the playground equipment has not been delivered.
“My problem with this is we’ve waited until the last minute.  Somebody’s not doing their job if the kids don’t have a playground when school start,” Arnold said, adding, “If it was a football field, we’d have it done already.”
Board member Kristy Lovell stated that the Black Hawk PTO is interested in providing some money for air conditioning in the classrooms at Black Hawk.
The board accepted two resignations and made several hires during closed session. 
Jessica Nelson resigned as Middle School para and and softball coach, and Nathan Koetters resigned as Middle School football coach.
Erin Wessely was hired as a new middle school para, and Debbie Dienst was hired as a half-time special ed para at the high school. 
Darrell Egley and Troy Kiger will be co-head coaches for middle school football, and Darin Boudreau will be a volunteer coach.
High school football assistant coaches will be Scott James, Tony McKee and Nathan Koetters.
Melissa Riney will be the middle school softball coach, and Brady Logsdon was hired as an assistant girls basketball coach at the high school.
Sheri Evans was hired for the new position of webmaster for the district.
Remaining vacant positions for the 2007-08 school year are high school and middle school cheerleading sponsors, tall and short flag sponsors, and assistant boys high school basketball coach.