The Swanville School Board decided at Wednesday’s meeting to hold a special election Tuesday, Nov. 5. for qualified voters in the Swanville School District to vote on the proposed operating referendum and capital
project levy. The School Board proposes to raise the local revenue from $38.31 per student to $85.34, an increase of $47.03. Supt. Gene Harthan said that by raising the operating referendum, the school is able to receive the maximum state aid of $460 for each student.
If the proposed operating referendum is approved, residents’ property taxes will increase. For residential homes, apartments and residential non-homesteads and commercial or industrial properties valued at $100,000, the estimated property tax increase would be $17 per year. Harthan said if the referendum is not approved, the estimated property tax for properties valued at $100,000 would decrease $8.
Agricultural homesteads and non-homesteads as well as seasonal residential homes would not be affected. Harthan told the Board that Fred Nolan, executive director of the Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA) said that the revenue per student at schools the size of Swanville
Public School average about $1,000. With the state aid and the proposed local increase, the amount per pupil
is about $760, Harthan said. If the referendum is approved, property owners would not see the propert tax increase until 2021. In addition to the proposed operating referendum, the School Board is also seeking to raise the capital project levy from $50,000 to $75,000, a $25,000 increase.
Harthan said the capital project levy is used to update and improve technology devices the students and the teachers use. Without it, the students’ education will likely suffer, he said.
As more students enroll in online college classes, some students rely on being able to use one of the school’s computers or laptops.
Some may not have access to the internet at home and rely on the web access the school provides. At this time, the school
is planning to purchase new laptops for the teachers. Although those laptops are three years old, Harthan said they will be used to create a mobile portal student lab. Besides students checking them out for various educational uses, teachers can also use them to have their students take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) in the classroom rather than bringing the entire class to the computer lab.
“The reason for the proposed increase is that we just can’t keep up. All of our smartboards will also need
to be replaced shortly,” Harthan said.
If the capital project levy is approved, owners of residential homesteads valued at $100,000, would see a property tax increase of $22 per year, commercial and industrial property owners, $46, and owners of apartments and residential non-homesteads, $38. Agricultural and non-homestead properties valued at $2,000, would see a property tax increase of 61 cents per acre. The property tax for seasonal recreational
residential properties valued at $100,000 would also increase $30. If both the operating referendum and the capital project levy are approved, the total property tax increase for a residential homestead valued at $100,000 would be $33.31 for 10 years.
Swanville School Board Briefs
In other business
Wednesday, the Swanville
• Approved the resignation
of Lizz Schafer as
head volleyball coach and
thanked her for her service;
• Approved Tressa Geschwill as head volleyball coach for the 2019-2020
• Approved Kim Lindemann as assistant volleyball coach for the 2019-2020 school year;
• Approved Con Natvig’s resignation as summer recreational director and thanked him for his many years of service;
• Approved rejoining Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA) for two years at a cost of $2,139. By joining Swanville School gains access to Sam Walseth, MREA’S contract lobbyist and increases the voice and impact at the Capitol of all Greater Minnesota School District;
• Heard from Supt. Gene Harthan that 28 students are signed up to attend kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year;
• Approved the milk bid from Kemps in St. Paul of $0.239 per 1 percent, half a pint milk container, $0.258 for 2 percent, half a pint milk container, $.231 per half a pint skim milk container and $0.240 per half a pint, chocolate skim milk container;
• Approved the bread bid from Pan O Gold in St. Cloud of $1.33 for 1 1/2
pound loaf of bread, $1.45 for 1 1/2 pound dark bread, $1.38 per dozen large hamburger
buns, $1.35 per dozen
small hamburger buns,
$1.38 per dozen regular and
large hot dog buns, $1.65 for
Texas toast and $3.50 per
two dozen hoagies.
•Approved Tammy Wimmeras long-term substitute teacher until mid October or longer, if needed;
• Approved a bid from Mid-Central Door in Waite Park to install two emergency push bars for doors leading outside in the band room and in the gym and replacing several round door knobs to door handles and more at a cost of $13,413;
• Approved a bid from Haldeman Homme to replace the lockers in the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms at a cost of $37,900, which includes material, delivery and installation; and
• Heard from Harthan that a new state law requires the school to screen students for dyslexia.
The Swanville School Board’s next regular meeting will be Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. in the high school library.