get it home page promo

School board will consider $72K operational levy for May ballot

2014-03-12T06:00:00Z 2014-03-12T09:23:19Z School board will consider $72K operational levy for May ballotBy DEREK BROUWER Independent Record Helena Independent Record
March 12, 2014 6:00 am  • 

Helena schools Superintendent Kent Kultgen will recommend the district run a small operational levy this May.

He summarized the district’s budget outlook during the Tuesday board meeting and suggested the board seek a $72,000 levy for the elementary district and no levy for the high schools.

Enrollment used to calculate state funding allotments rose by 75 students in the elementary district and dropped 69 in the high school district.

“The elementary fund is in good shape,” Kultgen said.

The proposed elementary levy would raise property taxes on a $100,000 home by $1.01.

Despite the drop in high school enrollment, changes in the state funding formula mean the high school district won’t need to seek an increase in the operational levy, Kultgen said.

The board will act upon the recommendation at its March 18 meeting.

Trustees briefly discussed the necessity of running a $72,000 levy and trustee mail-in election that costs the district around $70,000 to administer.

Kultgen noted that the levy increase would be permanently in place, while canceling an election would only incur a one-time savings.

He added that the district could cancel the trustee election should none of the races be competitive.

So far only one candidate has filed to run for three openings. Residents have just over two weeks left to do so.

The three openings this spring include two elementary/high school spots and a high school position representing Trinity and Wolf Creek districts.

The two joint positions — each three-year terms — are currently held by trustees Aidan Myhre and Cherche Prezeau. Myhre has filed for re-election, according to business manager Kim Harris. Prezeau said Tuesday that she also plans to file.

Trustee Bruce Nachtsheim, who currently holds the open high school position, said he will run for re-election only if no other candidates step forward. He said he enjoys the position but doesn’t have as much time to participate as he would like. The high school opening is for two years.

Candidates must file by March 27.

Other meeting notes:

-- Trustee Libbi Lovshin summarized the findings of the annual district audit, as presented to the policy committee. The district received an unmodified opinion with recommendations for minor procedural changes for the activities fund and unrecorded liabilities.

-- Kultgen summarized the structure of an elementary bond workgroup that will begin meeting next week. He said the meetings will be open for public observation and provide time for comment. The group will also maintain a website to provide information and updates to the public. The site, not yet functional, will be accessible at

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. Prattler
    Report Abuse
    Prattler - March 12, 2014 3:55 pm
  2. CarrollQueer
    Report Abuse
    CarrollQueer - March 12, 2014 9:59 am
    One levy after another, this school district never has enough money.
    Mr Kultgen are you telling us that the school district cannot find $72,000 in its multi-million dollar budget?
    Time for the school district to do like the rest of us and cut back and tighten its belt a little. Maybe you can start with the bottled water delivery at all of the schools and admin buildings.

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps:

    1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

    2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

    3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

    4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

    5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

    6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

    7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

    8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

    9. Don't write a novel. If your comment is longer than the article you're commenting on, you might want to cut it down a bit. Lengthy comments will likely be removed.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Follow the Independent Record

Great Helena Businesses