There will likely be a slight tax rate increase next year for those living within the La Salle-Peru Township High School district.
The L-P School Board on Wednesday night approved a tentative tax levy request that if it remains unchanged until being finalized next month will increase that tax rate by a little more than 4 cents.
“We continue to have one of the lowest tax rates in the county,” said superintendent Steve Wrobleski, noting the district has a tax rate lower than 22 other school districts inLa SalleCounty.
The new tax rate would be $1.8925 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation not including bond and interest. The tentative levy request is for $8,359,844. Last year the district requested $8,178,337 and received $7,965,351.
Wrobleski said EAV in the district has been on a downward trend for residential and commercial properties in recent years and he doesn’t expect that trend to change direction significantly in the next year.
Last year the district’s EAV dropped by about 3.5 percent, Wrobleski said.
He said the one area that’s a positive for the school district are agricultural properties in which the EAV has stayed relatively consistent.
The tax levy request will be finalized during the board’s December meeting.
The L-P board also approved hiring Vezzetti Capital Management as the district’s financial advisement firm.
Up to this point, the districts funds have been in a money market account, earning roughly .2 percent, Wrobleski said.
Vezzetti Capital will take the district’s cash reserves, leaving the district enough to meet monthly cash flow demands, and invest the rest.
Although Wrobleski couldn’t say for certain what the financial return will be under the new system, he said the returns are expected to be better than the current.
“It will provide another layer of expertise,” he said.
The plans for the proposed athletic complex that will likely feature track, soccer and tennis facilities have yet to be finalized, but Wrobleski said that process should be completed by the board’s next meeting.
He compared the process of refining the original architect’s plan to any home remodeling or building project that involves frequent changes as the budget and alternatives are considered.
“It’s been a long process but we’re doing our diligence on the project,” board member Tony Sparks said.
Board member Dr. Peter Meier said the school board and administration are developing new ways to improve relations with the community.
Along with creating official Facebook and Twitter accounts for L-P, individual email accounts are being created for each school board member. Eventually those email addresses will be available on the school’s website.
“I think that will be an effective means of communication,” Meier said.
The board will also be producing a monthly newsletter to provide updates on board decisions. Wrobleski said they are still determining how they will distribute that newsletter.
In other business, the board awarded Starved Rock Communications a $24,865 contract for the district’s radio communication system, basically updating L-P’s walkie-talkie system in order to stay in compliance with Federal Communications Commission guidelines.
Matthew Baker can be reached at (815) 220-6933, or firstname.lastname@example.org.