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Board finalizes budget, increases salaries for classified employees

By Bryan Richardson

The USD 383 school board finalized its 2013-14 budget Wednesday.

The $94 million budget contains a 52.464 mill levy, an increase of 2.019 mills from last year. Factoring in average valuation changes, the average homeowner will face an increase of property taxes from about $997 to about $1,070. A business property worth $500,000 would increase from about $6,300 to about $6,558.

During the Aug. 7 meeting, the board voted 4-3 on the budget with the dissent coming from board vice-president Leah Fliter, Aaron Estabrook and Darell Edie. They expressed concern about the budget reducing the district’s reserve funds too much.

However, the board approved the measure unanimously Wednesday. The district is using $810,000 from its reserve funds to fill the $1.6 million budget gap. The remainder comes from the tax increase.

Salary increases

The board voted to increase the salaries of classified employees and administrators. Pay is to be retroactive to July 1 and only for those employed before April 1.

Classified employee wages will increase 25 cents per hour or 2.5 percent, whichever is greater.

Administrator and exempt manager staff received a 2.5 percent raise.

The district previously reached a contract agreement with teachers that provided a 2.5 percent salary and wage increase to all employee groups and adds $750 on the base for certified teachers.

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