Mondovi Schools budget approved for 2014-15; tax levy to decrease slightly

 

by Beth Kraft

 

The Mondovi School District’s budget will see another significant decrease this year in accordance with shrinking state aid totals, but a balanced 2014-15 budget is still predicted.

Budget figures were approved and the district’s tax levy was set at just over $3.5 million for the current year, a decrease of 0.77 percent, during Mondovi’s annual meeting held Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Walking meeting attendees through the budget, district bookkeeper Kristi Zarins highlighted major changes in the district’s anticipated revenues and expenses for 2014-15, namely the drop of just over $100,000 in general state aid the schools will receive. As a result of that financial hit and slight dips in other revenues, the district’s budget will fall to a little over $10.2 million from about $10.4 million last year—a total decrease of about $185,000.

To combat the loss of funding, district general fund expenditures were trimmed 1.7 percent to make up the difference, efforts that should keep the books balanced at the end of the fiscal year.

The district has come out of the previous two years in the black, according to budget figures from 2012-13 and 2013-14, recording slight surpluses to allow its fund balance to climb from $1,608,114 two years ago to $1,623,143 to start the current school year.

Mondovi’s falling state aid totals in recent years are due in part to the district’s declining enrollment. The student head count dropped 19 students from last year to a district enrollment total of 948.

Looking back at district enrollment data over the past 15 years, student numbers were steady at around 1,100 until 2009-10. Since then, the district’s enrollment has dropped by over 130 students.

Following a 8.54 percent increase in the total school levy of $278,000 last year, bringing the levy up to more than $3.5 million, the total school levy will make a slight drop of about $27,000 this year for a mill rate of 9.78, down from 10.11 in 2013-14. 

It’s the first time the Mondovi School District’s tax levy has dropped since 2005-06 when the levy fell 9.5 percent to about $2.1 million.

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