MSD board gets glimpse at tax rate

By Josh Sigler

The Metropolitan School District of Wabash County’s board of education touched on an array of subjects at its Tuesday night, May 22 meeting.

Prior to the start of the meeting, board members met with Darren Bates of Data Pit Stop in a work session to get a glimpse into what the tax ramifications might be should MSD ever consolidate with Wabash City Schools.

Bates informed the board that the net assessed value of the property in the MSD school district is more than $775 million, while those properties in the Wabash City Schools district had a cumulative net assessed value of over $204 million.

“So, the taxable value is $979 million of the assessed value, which means MSD accounts for 79 percent of the taxes,” Bates said. “You have more people to pull from. Nearly 80 percent of the money is from the bigger base, the bigger area.”

So, what would that mean for people’s tax bills?

“There, you get into what-ifs,” Bates said. “Let’s say $100; $80 of that would come from MSD taxpayers, and $20 would come from the Wabash City School system. It’s not necessarily people’s taxes going up, it’s where the money is coming from.”

The MSD Board also signed off on the go ahead for IDEM to secure the permit for work to be done on the wastewater treatment plants at Southwood Jr.-Sr. High and Southwood Elementary schools.

“Once they approve the permit, then we can continue on with the process as far as the bid process,” Superintendent Mike Keaffaber said.

The project, according to Keith Bryant, Vice President of United Consulting, would cost about $800,000.

The project calls for consolidating the two wastewater treatment plants, abandoning the wastewater plant at the elementary school, then pumping that flow over to the high school plant.

Upgrades are then in order for the high school plant to meet NPDES permit requirements.

“It’s a permit that allows you to discharge from the wastewater plant,” Bryan said.

Bryant expects bids for the project to be let in August.

The board also tabled a recommendation to approve a letter intent for solar panel testing after a lengthy discussion over concerns of how much money the project would actually save the district.

The board also Tuesday:

-- Accepted the resignations of Jama Garcia (speech pathologist), Elizabeth Newman (special education teacher) and Deb Enser (three-hour cook).

-- Accepted the retirement of Metro North Elementary music teacher Linda Kanzawa.

-- Approved the employment of the following individuals: Claudia Weitzel (three-hour cook, Northfield High School), Brandi Rife (three-hour cook, Northfield Elementary), Tammy McCollister (three-hour cook, Sharp Creek Elementary), Amy Powell (three-hour cook, Sharp Creek Elementary), Shaheen Hall (educational diagnostician, WMAP), and MacKenzie Lepper (educational diagnostician, WMAP).

-- Approved the transfer of Jamie Haupert from Metro North Eelementary to be a fourth grade teacher at Sharp Creek effective Aug. 7, 2018.

-- Added an additional duty to Amanda Rhoades. She will be the foodservice manager for Sharp Creek Elementary in addition to foodservice manager for Northfield High School, effective Aug. 1, 2018.

-- Was notified that the corporation’s general fund balance was $2,709,658.19.

-- Keaffaber wished to acknowledge eighth grade students who attended the Washington D.C. field trip on their behavior. The corporation received several compliments from the bus driver, tour guide and just general people in between on how respectful , well behaved and well mannered the children were.

-- Keaffaber wished to congratulate the Northfield girls track and field team’s 4x400 relay team of Kearston Stout, Brittany Bussard, Alyssa McKillip and Kyra Kennedy for winning the sectional and moving on to the regional.

-- Heard the first reading and reviewed the 2018-19 high school handbook.

-- Approved on second reading the 2018-19 elementary handbook.

Posted on 2018 May 29