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Verndale School Board
Passed referendum, 
approved levy $50,000 
under maximum

by Trinity Gruenberg

    The Verndale School Board met on  Tuesday, September 26.
Freshwater Education District
    School Board Member Scott Veronen shared that the Freshwater Education District is looking to construct building space. They were looking at property near the hospital and that didn’t work out for them. They are looking at property on Highway 71. NJPA is providing $5 million toward the construction of a level four secure facility to accommodate more students with challenging behaviors.
    Bus Garage
    The numbers are not adding up on the bills. The committee is looking into it and will hold off on paying the final bills to Paul Davis until the matter is cleared up.
    Chris Youngbauer has to step away from the committee. Tony Stanley stepped in to fill the position.  They will review the bills and budget at the next meeting.
    The Verndale School is one of the few that does not approve the maximum levy authority.
    Jodie Zesbaugh with Ehlers was tasked in reviewing the figures to see what options can be utilized to keep the tax impact low.    
    “There are different tax bases that certain areas of the levy fall under. Some is net tax capacity that includes all the ag land which is going to start seeing that 40 percent credit that is not included in our levy. That is a credit afterwards and that’s where it gets complicated,” explained Superintendent Paul Brownlow.
    The building bond would be in that net tax capacity.
    “There are other pieces that are net tax capacity, so we are trying to watch that we don’t eliminate all of that piece, because it would unfairly transfer the tax burden from net tax capacity to referendum market value,” said Brownlow.
    The biggest concern is the alternative attendance adjustments. If neighboring districts have operating levies, and those students open enrolled into Verndale, the Verndale School got the state aid. The district the student came from keeps the levy dollars. The state aid follows the student.
    The state aid and the alternative attendance adjustment will no longer be available.

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