D50 board moves forward with mill levy override

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Adams County School District 50 school board signaled the district voters it intends to move forward with a mill-levy-override question for the November ballot. The resolution was approved after a staff recommendation during the board’s June 25 meeting.

“While Colorado is strategically moving ahead in finance reform, there is no guarantee that those efforts will be successful,” said District Administrator James Duffy. “If our current school finance situation remains unchanged, the district will have to continue to have to pay back any short fallings from the state by using operating expenses or reserves, which are one-time funds and once spent are depleted.”

Duffy said that with the district already tapping into reserves by about $4 million to balance the 2013-2014 budget, those reserves could be depleted, forcing the district to make significant cuts to expenditures.

Discussions about a mill-levy override began last year during a study session in December when the Adams County School District 50 fiscal oversight committee suggested the school board consider an override question for next November’s election. At that time, committee member Bill Christopher said after the board had to reach into the reserve fund and pull out $4.4 million to balance the 2012-13 budget, the mill-levy-override option is something the board needs to consider.

“We have done bond refinancing, which helps, but we have to think about the future,” Christopher said. “The mill-levy increase is an important step that needs to be done in the next couple of years. And it’s something the school board has to decide whether they want to embrace it.”

Final language and the increase amount will not be determined until the second school board meeting in August. District 50 voters will already be headed to the polls in November when two seats on the board open up — those of board President Marilyn Flachman, who is term limited, and Sharon Whitehair, who is not running for re-election.

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