Berlin-Milan school boards holds off on levy

The Berlin-Milan School District won't try again just yet for a levy, deciding against placing a request on the August ballot. Board officials said they want more information on potential decreased state funding in the next few weeks as they consider whether to place a levy request on an upcoming election ballot, board president Mark Miller said.
Heather Chapin-Fowler
May 20, 2010

The Berlin-Milan School District won't try again just yet for a levy, deciding against placing a request on the August ballot.

Board officials said they want more information on potential decreased state funding in the next few weeks as they consider whether to place a levy request on an upcoming election ballot, board president Mark Miller said.

The district requested a 6.9-mill levy that would have generated about $1.6 million annually. But voters shot down the idea at the May primary.

Treasurer Nicole Spriggs told board members on Wednesday the state hasn't determined the level of funding it will pass down to local school districts, resulting in potentially unstable financial forecasts for 2012.

The state has committed to maintaining the funding level it promised for this year and 2011, but no promises are being made beyond that, she said. Spriggs warned the district won't have any surplus cash as 2012 approaches.

More than 250 other school districts across the state face the same uncertainty and a grim financial outlook, Spriggs said.

"I'm not crying wolf," she said. "I think we need to remain vigilant watching our expenses."

In other news, the board unanimously voted to spend about $72,000 on new textbooks for grades 7-12.

Each grade will receive between 130 and 140 textbooks in addition to supplemental materials. The district is also taking advantage of a special perk -- a free novel with each textbook purchased, staff member Jeane Pritchard said.

The board also agreed to allow eighth-grade student Christopher Ketchum to begin an Eagle Scout project at the district's athletic complex.

Ketchum will solicit donations for materials and labor from area businesses and other Boy Scouts to renovate the track. Over the years, the track has deteriorated, becoming a safety issue.

The project is expected to begin in late June or early July.