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Expenses, valuation up; levy down for USD 489





The mill levy for Hays USD 489 will go down if the board of education approves publication of the proposed budget at Monday night's board meeting.

The mill levy for the district will be 46.324, compared to 47.831 last year for a drop of 1.507 mills, said Richard Cain, deputy superintendent.

Cain briefly discussed the budget at the board's work session Wednesday night.

Total proposed expenditures before transfers for this year are $50,250,415, compared to $48,569,140 last year. However, the assessed valuation in the district is up, which reduces the mill levy.

The school district also includes a mill levy for the Hays Recreation Commission.

That mill levy increased slightly from 3.44 last year to 3.686 this year, making the total mill levy for the district 50.01. Last year, the total was 51.271, a total decrease of 1.261 mills.

"This will be the seventh consecutive year the school district has decreased the mill levy," Cain said.

Board member Alan Moore asked if the Kansas Department of Education representative who examined the budget had any comments.

"He did say we are woefully short on our cash balances," Cain said.

In other business, Bruce Rupp, Hays Middle School athletic director, presented a plan for the middle school to join the Pioneer League, which has 22 schools.

Several of the schools they've competed against in the past, such as Hutchinson and Buhler, have petitioned to join that league.

"It's hard to fill the schedule right now," Rupp said. "If those schools join, it's going to be hard to find competition."

Joining the league would mean adding sports, and that would entail some start-up costs.

Craig Pallister, HMS principal, said the additional sports would give students more opportunities to participate.

"The important thing to remember about this is, all we're going to decide Monday night is whether to submit an application," said Will Roth, superintendent. "We're not committing to anything."

Three board members, Greg Schwartz, James Leiker and Marty Patterson, were absent.