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By KEVIN KOELLING
CANNELTON – Cannelton School Board members adopted the several parts that comprise the 2014 budget for the city’s school corporation at a regular meeting Oct. 17.
Among documents they approved were projections for general, referendum-operating, debt-service capital-projects transportation, bus-replacement and rainy-day funds.
A detailed budget was published as a legal notice in the News Aug. 29. When Schools Superintendent Alva Sibbitt presented it to the county council Sept. 21 for their nonbinding review, the total tax rate he provided for 2014 was $2.5335, down from the $2.6311 certified for 2013.
Several of the tax levies would be reduced when the budget went to state officials for review, he said at the October meeting, “because I advertised more than they will allow, but that’s typical, and the tax rates were based upon $21 million assessed valuation. Ours is 23 million-something, so both the levies and the rates will go down.”
The board also gave their OK to an advertisement of the capital-projects plan that appeared in the News Oct. 21. The notice informed taxpayers if 10 or more of them objected to the plan, they could file a petition with the county auditor by today. That would initiate steps toward a public hearing conducted by the state’s Department of Local Government Finance, Sibbitt explained.
“It never happened in my career, but I’m not saying it couldn’t,” he added. “It would be unusual for 10 or more taxpayers to file. If they do, the DLGF sets a date … they’re going to approve it, but at least the taxpayers have the opportunity.”
He had already submitted the ad to the News and it would appear in the following Monday’s paper, Sibbitt said, explaining, “I made an assumption you would approve advertising it.”
Board members also approved without discussion an $11,082 additional appropriation in the school system’s 2013 referendum operating fund. Schools Superintendent Alva Sibbitt said he had provided copies of an additional appropriations resolution and ordinance to board members before the meeting. Cannelton residents approved in 2010 a ballot question asking whether they would approve an increase of up to 41 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The revenue that move raises was intended to offset declining state funding.
In other business, the board approved the employment of Patti Coyle as the high-school cheerleading sponsor for the 2013-14 school year.
They also approved a request from school-corporation employee Jane Efinger-Hayden to serve as a volunteer school-bus monitor. She’d submitted a written request explaining her husband, Dan Hayden, “is retiring from his position as ranger at the Girl Scout camp and we will be moving to Troy over fall break. It is my understanding that there are an increased number of students being transported to Cannelton this year via the bus. Along with this comes supervision issues.”
She offered her services, saying she had talked to driver Dale Putnam and Principal Roger Fisher, “and they both agree this would be a much-needed service.” The board also agreed.
Sibbitt also reported five laptop computers had been installed in the high-school English classroom and one was on back order.