By Tim Leeds
The Havre Public School Board of Trustees unanimously approved a 4 percent increase in the high school levy to be placed on the May 2 ballot in Tuesday night's meeting.
Ric Floren, district director of operations said the increase of more than $165,000 would only increase the high school budget by about $146,000 due to reduced state funding from enrollment declines.
Floren said that due to state reductions in the high school budgets, this increase with previous levy increases have only increased the school's net budget by 1.2 percent in the last three years. He said this does not come near the effect of inflation in the same period.
Floren said that the actual increase for taxpayers will be less than the $165,000. He said state reductions in other taxes will reduce the net increase. He said if the levy was raised by the same amount that other taxes were reduced, the net effect would be no change. He said restructuring of farm and home taxes has reduced taxes enough that the net effect of the levy increase will be lower than its full amount.
The board unanimously approved a resolution to increase the elementary building reserve levy from $125,000 to $150,000 a year for three years to fund replacing the heating and ventilation systems at Sunnyside Elementary school.
Floren said the Sunnyside heating system, which was installed during the school's construction nearly 50 years ago, is in serious need of replacement. Floren said the school's heating system could not even be built today due to violations of current building codes.
The board also approved resolutions to hold elections on May 2 to fill the positions of Judy Bricker, Jay Springer and Aileen Couch on the board. The terms of these trustees expire as of the coming election for trustees.