Albion’s proposed school budget would be only second tax increase in 11 years

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 April 2017 at 10:25 am

ALBION – The Albion Board of Education approved a $34,796,676 budget on Monday, a spending plan that goes before voters for a final say on May 16, with polls open from noon to 8 p.m. in the Elementary School, Conference Room A.

The budget for a tax increase for only the second time in 11 years. Albion is proposing the 1.42 percent increase to reduce the risk of a bigger tax swing in the future, said Margy Brown, the Board of Education president.

She said the budget remains fiscally conservative, while ensuring opportunities for students.

The district would collect $8,474,939 in taxes as part of the budget, which is up $119,000 from the $8,355,939 in 2016-17. The tax rate would increase from $15.43 per $1,000 of assessed property in 2016-17 to a projected $15.57 in 2017-18.

The budget includes propositions for $460,000 for bus purchases; $687,211 for Hoag Library (the same as in 2016-17); and two positions on the Board of Education. (Candidate petitions for the BOE are due 5 p.m. on April 17.)

The district will have a public hearing on the budget 7 p.m. on May 9 in the LGI at the High School.

In other action on Monday:

• The Board of Education discussed work to upgrade the district’s web site. The revamped site will have more scrolling photos on the main page, and easier to find updates on district events.

Brown asked the other board members to weigh in with their ideas for how to best use the website to communicate with the community.

Michael Bonnewell, the district superintendent, said the new site will give administrators the option to update the site from their phone and off location.

• Bonnewell said he is reaching out to Albion police to step up enforcement of motorists who do not observe red lights on school buses.

Bonnewell also wants visitors to not park in front of the elementary school, where buses pick up and drop off students.

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