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The Belgrade News

Mill levies on the ballot for local schools

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Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013 6:00 am

Belgrade and Manhattan School Boards both hosted special early morning meetings Tuesday to set and approve mill levies.

The Belgrade trustees approved a motion to ask voters for two levies, one for the high school and another for the elementary schools. The high school levy rings in at $96,080.96.

A homeowner with house that’s taxable value is $200,000 will pay $7.06 per year for the high school levy. The market value of a home is what a home can sell for, which is considerably more than the taxable value of the home. Taxable value of a home is determined by the appraisal value of the property.

The elementary school levy will cost voters more. For a home with a $200,000 taxable value, the elementary levy will cost $40.98 per year, or about $3.40 a month. Both levies will last for 10 years.  

Both levies will bolster the general fund. The elementary school levy will be used specifically to staff the new Saddle Peak Elementary School when it opens for business this fall. Six new teachers need to be hired, as well as custodial, kitchen and afterschool help.

Belgrade Superintendent Candy Lubanksy told a group of area businesspeople Thursday afternoon that the bond that paid for Saddle Peak cannot be used to pay for the staff to fill it because bonds are for building expenses only.

The high school levy will be put toward hiring an additional two new teachers and a part-time counselor. What subjects the new teachers will be hired for will depend on registration, Lubansky said. The district is also trying to come up with money to hire a Student Resource Officer from the Belgrade Police Department who will monitor school halls and act as a liaison between law enforcement and the schools.  

In Manhattan, the board decided to pass two levies to buttress the school’s building reserve fund. Superintendent Jim Notaro and a facilities team determined there are many high priority needs that have to be upgraded or replaced around the school. Those priorities include an ancient heating system in the elementary school, gym floors in the cafeteria and drainage problems throughout the building.

The high school levy would be put toward re-roofing that portion of the school, to match the rest of the new roofing that was completed last year.  

The two levies will cost voters $250,000 a piece year for five years each. The elementary school levy will cost homeowners with $200,000 taxable value house $110.49 a year, or about $9 a month. The high school levy will cost homeowners with a $200,000 home $68.61 a year.

On both ballots, voters will also get their say about re-electing existing trustees or voting in a new crop. In Belgrade, Vice Board Chairman Peter Morgan and trustees Bob Marx and Dee Batey are up for re-election. Terms are three years.

In Manhattan, Vice Board Chairman Rob Brownell and Trustee Brand Robinson were up for re-election.

Ballots will be mailed out April 22 in both Manhattan and Belgrade. Ballots must be returned to the Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder by May 7 at 8 p.m.

© 2015 The Belgrade News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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