Lewis Central seeks to raise tax on physical plant and equipment | Latest titles

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The Lewis Central Community School District Board of Education will ask for a proposal to be put on the ballot this fall to renew and increase its tax on voter-approved physical facilities and equipment.

The measure would be on the ballot for a special election on September 13.

PPEL revenues are used to fund building maintenance, transportation, and the purchase and repair of equipment. By state law, it cannot be used to pay salaries or purchase educational materials.

The voter-approved portion of the levy — which also includes a portion that only requires board approval — is currently set at 50 cents per $1,000 of taxable assessment, said school board chair Dorene Scheffel. The proposal would double that amount to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable assessment.

If approved, the higher rate would begin July 1, 2023 and remain in effect for 10 years.

“It’s been 50 cents for a long time,” Scheffel said. “The council didn’t increase it because we were paying on high school bonds. Lewis Central is no longer in debt and we want to finance the maintenance and improvement of our buildings.

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In other business at this week’s meeting, the board:

Approved a “return incentive” for administrators similar to that adopted for certified and support staff. Directors returning for the 2022-23 contract year will receive a $500 bonus. The incentive will be paid to those on the payroll on Oct. 1 and will be paid for with elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds.

Approved a slight increase in meal prices and expenses for new programs, security cameras and catering contracts. Meal prices will be increased by 10 cents for students, while adult rates will increase by 10 cents for breakfast and 15 cents for lunch. Other tuition fees have not been increased.

Approved the purchase of new K-12 English and Language Arts curricula for a total cost of $159,199

Approved the purchase of new K-12 science programs at a cost of $144,800

Approved the purchase of security cameras to upgrade and expand Lewis Central Middle School’s surveillance system from Prime Communications, which submitted a bid of $52,180.05 (lowest of three)

Approved the renewal of nutrition services contracts with Reinhart Food Service/Performance Food Group, Rotella’s, Dean Foods, Capital Sanitary and Pizza Hut for the 2022-23 school year. All contracts have been tendered within the last two years with the possibility of renewal for up to two additional years.

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