Weather Forecast


Ellsworth finalizes school budget

ELLSWORTH -- Ellsworth School District's 2009-10 budget is set.

The board certified the $7.69 million levy Monday. A mill rate of 8.70 (tax per $1,000 of valuation) was included.

"The levy is basically the same as last year," Supt. Barry Cain said.

Key pieces of information regarding state aids, student enrollment and grants weren't available when board saw the proposed budget in August. The district received that missing information Oct. 15, Cain said.

The superintendent reminded the board that it approved tapping the district fund balance for a new middle school roof. While the district still has what he called a healthy amount available, it isn't at the level recommended by district auditors. The fund balance previously equaled 17 percent of the total budget and now is around 11 percent.

"We can't continually do that," he said, recognizing a significant number of budget cuts were made over the winter.

State aid decreased slightly -- by approximately $6,000 -- from last year. Total revenue will be $16.73 million.

An interfund operating transfer of $1.5 million reflects a one-time reduction in maintenance due to federal stimulus money, he said. The food service fund carried over $42,140, so lunch and breakfast prices will remain the same.

The total levy represents a .015 percent increase over last year, he said. Meantime, property values in the district dropped by 4.2 percent this year, so the mill rate increased.