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Seymour gives stamp of approval for preliminary budget

By Heather Graves

SEYMOUR – The Seymour school district held its annual meeting late last month, as required by state statutes, in the middle school auditorium.

More than a dozen community members attended the meeting to share thoughts on the district’s preliminary budget.

“This is a meeting of the electors in the districts, in essence, the community members who live in the district,” Superintendent Laurie Asher said.

Asher said the purpose of the meeting is two-fold.

“One is statutory in what the electors can make a motion on and pass – most of this is related to taxes that can be levied for the school to use,” she said. “The second is for the electors to give feedback to the school district about concerns they have related to the school.”

The community approved the district’s preliminary budget with no objections, which includes a preliminary tax rate of $9.32 per $1,000 of home value – the lowest since the 2012-13 school year.

It’s a decrease of 23 cents from last year’s tax rate of $9.55.

It’s also a change from the preliminary budget approved by the school board in June due to the signing of the 2021-23 biennial state budget.

Business Manager Pete Kempen originally proposed a preliminary tax rate of $9.57, which would have been an increase of 2 cents.

However, the reestablishment of two-thirds state funding included in the newly adopted state budget gives a property tax reduction, with the state making up the difference.

As a low-spending district and without a change in the revenue limits included in the budget, Kempen said property taxes will decrease, but Seymour will not receive any additional funds.

Electors also approved:

• The student fee schedule – $10 for grades K-5; $14 for grades 6-12; and $36 musical instrument rental.

• The school breakfast, lunch and milk prices for the 2021-22 school year, which are unchanged from the 2020-21 school year – $45 per year milk fee for grades 4K-5; $1.15 per day for breakfast and $2.45 per day for lunch for grades K-5; and $1.25 per day for breakfast and $2.55 per day for lunch for grades 6-12.

Asher said meals will be free for all students for the 2021-22 school year due to the continuation of a federal program, but said the fee scale still required annual approval.

• School board member salaries – board president salary increased from $6,100 to $6,222; and school board member salary from $5,300 to $5,406.

The school board will formally vote on the budget in October.

The meeting concluded with community members setting the date for next year’s meeting – Monday, July 25, 2022.

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