Hayden district to pursue mill levy override

School Board also approves Luppes as half-time superintendent in 2010-11

— The Hayden School Board agreed to move forward with a ballot measure asking voters to approve a mill levy override to generate an estimated $344,560 annually for the district.

At Wednesday’s School Board meeting, Board President Brian Hoza said revenue generated from the override would help the district address future expected cuts from the state, maintain staff, protect staff salaries and benefits and minimize programs that might be at risk.

He said a survey this spring of Hayden residents living in the district was “overwhelmingly” supportive of a mill levy override and half-cent sales tax.

“Both were supported, but we felt the mill levy was more appropriate,” he said, citing dependability of generating revenue from a property tax increase versus a sales tax initiative.

Finance Director Jnl Linsa­cum said the override would cost about $33 per $100,000 of residential property value annually.

Hoza said the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has been notified of the district’s intention. But, he said, official notification isn’t due to the county until late July and the ballot language isn’t due until the first week of September.

The School Board again will discuss the mill levy override at the School Board meeting in July and will adopt ballot language at a meeting before the early September deadline, Hoza said.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the School Board approved Mike Luppes as the district’s half-time superintendent in 2010-11. Luppes will be paid $50,000 plus about $20,000 in benefits.

Including the time he spent as the Hayden High School boys basketball coach and as administrative consultant, he cannot work more than 110 days in 2010, under provisions allowed by the Public Employees’ Retirement Asso­ci­ation. Luppes retired as the district’s superintendent in 2008. That provision will change in 2011, allowing retirees to work up to 140 days.

In other action, the School Board:

■ Approved the 2010-11 budget with a general fund of more than $5 million. The budget includes about $345,000 in cuts, based on a decrease in funding from the state, increased costs for health insurance and retirement benefits and lost revenue from fewer students next year.

■ Approved a service contract with the Moffat County School District of $20,600 to receive yearly bus service, inspections, driver training and evaluations.

■ Approved new athletic fees at the high and middle schools to generate an estimated $6,000 to $8,000 in additional revenue.

■ Approved accepting more than $106,303 in gifts from the Education Fund Board.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@steamboapilot.com

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