By Gail Peckler-Dziki

Residents in the Wheatland Center School district will see a lower levy for the third year in a row.

The levy for 2017-2018, approved at the Sept. 27 annual meeting was $3,310,665, down .03 percent from 2016-17, when it was $3,311,582.

Of the $3,310,655 levied, $3,202,665 went towards the General Fund, with $60,000 applied to the Community Service Fund, and the rest went to repayment of loan.

Meanwhile, taxpayers expect to see a lower tax rate for 2017-18, projected at $8.22 per $1,000 of assessed value, a decrease of $.42 from last year when it was $8.64.

In 2015-16, the tax rate was $9.15 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

At the annual meeting, District Administrator Marty McGinley presented a history of district levies from 2012-13 until 2017-18.

In the last six years, the levy has dropped every year. In 2012-2013, the levy was more than $3.5 million.

The fund balance, a type of account all governmental bodies have, increased from $1.2 million last year to $1.45 million for the upcoming budget.

The expenditures for the 2017-2018 school year is estimated at $8.7 million, up 7.75 percent from last year’s unaudited expenditures of a little more than $8 million.

While Wheatland received $14,000 more in state aid compared to last year, the district saw a $3,000 drop in federal aid.

Other information presented at the meeting beyond financial included an explanation of a Community Services Fund (Fund 80) the school operates. Tax dollars and fees support the fund.

These programs are open to the public and operate outside the usual instructional time frame. Included are community education programs, co-curricular after school activities and assistance programs and late bus services for children participating in the programs.

The estimated total enrollment for 2017-2018 is 498 students, down from the actual enrollment number for 2016-2017, when it was 516 students.

McGinley reported the reason for the decrease is due to the departure of a large eighth-grade class, and a smaller pre-kindergarten class.

In 2016-20017, the number of open enrollment students who go out of the district is 62, while the number of open enrollment students coming into WCS is 130.

Estimates for 2017-2018 are 70 out with 138 coming in.


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