Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools

ASHLAND – Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools Superintendent Jason Libal had the bagels and cream cheese ready for patrons to enjoy as he discussed the 2019-2020 budget Thursday morning. But there were no takers, other than The Ashland Gazette.

Libal hosted the get-together as a way to introduce the planned budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The presentation discussed the general operating fund, property valuation and the proposed tax levies for the school district.

Property valuation increased 7 percent for the district, slightly higher than Libal said he had estimated when he worked on the budget this summer.

Libal said increased valuations have allowed the district to decrease the general fund levy over the past few years. Libal is proposing a general fund levy of $0.8338, down from $0.8655 last year.

The rise in property valuation also allows the district to lower the cash reserve in the general fund over the past three, Libal said, from $2,831,679 in 2017-2018 to $2,056,131 the next year. This year, the proposed cash reserve will be $85,000, he added.

Due to refinancing of bonds in 2016 and increased valuations, Libal is proposing lowering the bond fund levy from $0.045 to $0.03970.

However, in anticipation of building needs in the not-too-distant future, the district is planning to raise the special building fund levy from $0.085 to $0.12190.

Despite the increase in the special building fund levy, the overall levy will continue to remain the lowest in Saunders County and the second lowest in the Nebraska Capitol Conference, Libal said. The proposed overall levy is $0.99555. The overall levy has decreased $0.07255 since 2014-2015, he added.

The Board of Education held a budget hering Tuesday for the public. The budget will be approved on Monday, Sept. 9 during the board’s 6 p.m. meeting.

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