March 21, 2013 | Volume 118, Issue No. 12

Individual tax impact reports to be available to school district voters

ALCO donates $20,391.30 in supplies

Moose Lake School District property owners may be able to call to get information about the tax impact on their properties before voting on the bond referendum May 21, Mike Hoheisel of Northland Securities told the Moose Lake School Board on Monday, March 18.

Moose Lake Community Schools students help unload a donation to the school of $20,391.30 in hardware tools and supplies from Moose Lake ALCO.

A roster of property owners in the Moose Lake School District will be collected and the tax impact for the $33 million project calculated for each, said Hoheisel.

“You will be the first school district to get that information,” he added. “We are going to try it in Moose Lake.”

The Moose Lake School District and the Rushford-Peterson School District, which also has old buildings that were damaged by a flood in 2012, have made presentations to the Minnesota State Legislature asking for $20 million for each district to replace the schools.

Hoheisel said that the presentation by the Moose Lake School District representatives was very well presented and it was received favorably. However, it will not be known if the grant is awarded until May.

The grant would greatly reduce the tax impact on the property owners in the Moose Lake School District, Hoheisel said.

The interest rates are starting to go up, he said. He had provided information at an interest rate of 3.55 percent, which also had a cushion to protect the school district and the securities company.

Hoheisel presented information that showed that a residential homestead property owner with a $130,000 property would have to pay $481.84 per year in taxes, and the owner of a $130,000 commercial/industrial property would have to pay $899.48. Those are both just for the school district’s $33 million in GO School Building Bonds. That rate is for 2014. It increases slightly in 2015.

If the entire $20 million grant is awarded, the tax impact on a $130,000 residential homestead would be $222.37, and for commercial/industrial property, it would be $415.11 for $13 million in GO School Building Bonds.

Board members and people at the meeting spoke of the importance of urging the Legislature to pass the bill. The bill is authored by Senator Tony Lourey in the Senate and Representative Mike Sundin in the House of Representatives.

If the Legislature awards the $20 million grant, Vote Yes campaign organizers will just have one week to contact the property owners, inform them of the news, and urge them to vote yes on the referendum in the election on May 21.

“If you did receive that $20 million grant, that’s a nice end-of-the-campaign hurrah,” said Hoheisel.

Other business

Changing the service learning portion of Social Studies to make it more accountable was the one aspect of a presentation about the changes in the high school Social Studies curriculum.

Because the Moose Lake School District isn’t meeting the state standards in Social Studies, the former Econ of Life, which isn’t taught any longer, will be replaced with the traditional ECON, said instructor Lee Stephenson.

Next year, freshmen will take a full year of World History, and seniors will take a half year to meet the state standards.

Service learning, formerly known as community service, is not effective in holding the students accountable, it was said. Students have adults sign a slip indicating that the hours are completed but it cannot be determined if the time and service is accurate or fraudulent.

To add meaning to the projects, it would be better if the students had to complete less than the 48 hours of service required currently and spend more time prepping for group projects and reflecting on the experience after the hours have been completed.

“We are trying to address the problems, not trying to get rid of the program,” said Stephenson.

Superintendent Robert Indihar reported that eight people have signed up for the new child care program that is being implemented in the elementary school. Ads for the position of director of the program have been posted, with a closing date of April 5.

The board approved accepting a $20,391.30 donation of supplies from the local ALCO-Duckwall store. Supt. Indihar reported that the store has a new vendor, and the vendor had purchased the supplies and donated them to the school.

“We were there to look at it today,” he said. “There is all kinds of merchandise, like tools and paint, that the janitors can use. The merchandise will be divided for the different entities in the school, and the remaining items will be sold on the school’s garage sale.”

The board also approved accepting the donation of a piano from Kevin and Tammy Dunrud.

In other business the board approved the auditing firm of KDV for the audits for FY13, FY14 and FY15.

A working meeting of the school board was set for Monday, April 8, at 6 p.m., and the next regular meeting of the board was set for Monday, April 15 at 6 p.m. Both meetings will be held in Room 115 at the school.

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