Panhandle Approves Preliminary Levy

Posted

Members of the Panhandle School Board met on Monday, Nov. 15, with their sights set on approving this year’s preliminary tax levy, among other items on the agenda.

Superintendent Aaron Hopper said that the last few years the district’s EAV (Equalized Assessed Value) has increased more than expected. Hopper said this year’s prediction is an increase of 6.1 percent, bringing the district’s EAV close to $89,800,000, almost 20 million more than in 2017.

With a preliminary levy increase of 6.1 percent, Hopper suggested that the district hold a truth in taxation hearing since the levy increase could be over the 5 percent threshold.

Hopper also suggested using the capital sales tax from Montgomery County to abate the $72,000 payment from the 2019 bond.

With the bond abatement, the district’s current tax rate would decrease from its current rate of 4.91 to 4.89. With no abatement, the tax rate would be 4.97.

Board member Dana Pitchford asked if the board did abate the bond payment, would they have enough from the capital sales tax to fix the plumbing and parking lot issues at Lincolnwood High School. Hopper said it would, with the district receiving about $26,000 per month from the tax.

The preliminary levy was passed unanimously, with a final vote coming at a future board meeting.

The aforementioned parking lot and plumbing projects were also discussed at length at the meeting.

Hopper said it would, with the district receiving about $26,000 per month from the tax.

The preliminary levy was passed unanimously, with a final vote coming at a future board meeting.

The aforementioned parking lot and plumbing projects were also discussed at length at the meeting. Hopper said that the district has a $50,000 matching grant for the parking lot project, which wouldn’t cover replacing the whole parking lot, but would address some of the biggest problem areas. Architects Graham and Hyde projected that portion at a preliminary cost of $144,000 during the grant application, while Hurst-Rosche Engineering projected the parking lot project (including drainage and lighting changes) would cost $800,000.

Hopper said that the asphalt of the parking lot will be dug out for the project, with five inches of asphalt removed. Hurst-Rosche suggested adding more rock before resurfacing and Hopper said that the board has several different options for the project.

The school in Raymond also experienced a collapsed plumbing line. Hopper asked for permission to fix the plumbing line from the building to the sidewalk. The rest of the line runs under the parking lot and could be done at the same time as the parking lot if the scope of work overlaps.

Board member Scott Cowdrey suggested doing the parking lot in phases instead of the full project, with the board deciding on a goal of $225,000 for the first phase.

In other business, the board approved the consent agenda and the 2022 graduation date, which will be on Friday, May 20, 2022. Hopper said that if there are no snow days, the final day of school will be May 19.

Hopper also went over the Illinois School Report Card data, some of which was incomplete due to changes in testing during the pandemic. The Panhandle superintendent highlighted that the high school graduation rate went up almost nine percent, from 83.8 in 2020 to 92.7 in 2021, and said that 69 percent of students are enrolled in post-graduation coursework.

Hopper also said that 48 percent of juniors and 57 percent of seniors are taking some sort of college or dual credit classes at Lincolnwood, with 153 students in career and technical (vocational) education courses.

Before closing out the open session portion of the meeting, Hopper said that the new lights have been installed in the parking lot and that the district has activities and honors planned for all staff members during this week’s Education Week celebration.

The board would go into closed session at 7:38 p.m. and return to open session at 8:04 p.m. with no further action. The next Panhandle School Board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here