The East Helena School Board approved a resolution to increase nonvoted levies to fund transportation for the soon-to-be freshman class of 2019-20. 

Resolution 212 approves a minimal increase to taxpayers based on a "worst-case scenario," according to Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer. For now the figures are approximate and contingent on approval of a full 2019-20 budget. 

The notice of intent is a requirement in Senate Bill 307. Whitmoyer explained that this increase of approximately 21.59 total mills could bring in up to $341,996 and will directly go toward funding a new bus route for the first incoming freshman class of East Helena High School. 

A mill levy is the "tax rate" applied to the assessed value of a property.

Nonvoted levies include adult education, transportation, tuition and building reserve funds. The proposed increase in funding for transportation is $74.07 per individual based on a $200,000 home. 

However, the district did decrease mills in tuition, 4.74 mills, and building reserve, 1.10 mills. Whitmoyer said this is to hopefully lessen the burden on taxpayers. 

The final approximate figures are a total increase of 21.59 mills, or about $29.13 per year on a $100,000 home and $58.26 per year on a $200,000 home. 

"We create a worst-case scenario every year," Whitmoyer said. "We can deviate below it, but not above it." 

Whitmoyer said the figures are not necessarily final. The board passed the resolution unanimously. This funding will provide for a new transportation route for incoming high school freshman, which also includes hiring a new bus driver.

Other approved items include:

  • After meeting with the future freshman class, Whitmoyer suggested to the board to approve advertising to hire a driver's ed teacher and tennis coach. This is based on eligibility and interest from students.
  • The 2019-20 school calendar was approved by the board. It is similar to the Helena school district's calendar; the school year will start on Aug. 28 and end June 10. 
  • The building project for the high school is 80 percent complete in the document phase. Site and foundation prep are headed out to bid starting Tuesday.
  • The East Helena High School groundbreaking ceremony will take place 5:30 p.m. next Monday. Whitmoyer has extended an invite to the public.

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Education and Business Reporter

Education and Business reporter for Helena Independent Record.

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