District 118 officials predict a decrease in local revenue

News-DemocratNovember 19, 2013 

Belleville School District 118 school board gave preliminary approval for an estimated tax levy of $9.7 million for 2013 during its meeting Tuesday night.

Assistant Superintendent Ryan Boike said the levy amount is "very close" to what the district levied last year, but he predicts the district will bring in less revenue as a result of a projected 4 percent decrease in local property values.

"We may bring in $350,000 less," he said, for the district's education fund.

Superintendent Matt Klosterman said, "it's not an easy time" for districts to balance a decrease in federal, state and local revenues while trying "to be responsible to local taxpayers."

"We are going to continue to do everything we can to be supporters of our constituents," he said. "We know we have a lot of families that are hurting still."

The district's final levy amount will be approved at the school board meeting next month on Dec. 17.

In other news, the school board approved:

* Submitting an Illinois School Maintenance Project Grant for parking lot repairs at West Junior High and Abraham Lincoln Elementary schools for up to $250,000. The district would be required to match the amount of funds provided by the grant if approved.

"It's hard to pass up the opportunity for matching funds," Klosterman said.

* Submitting an Illinois School Energy and Efficiency Grant, up to $250,000, to replace two sections of the roof and a portion of the windows and doors at Abraham Lincoln school.

If the grant is approved, the district could see a potential savings of more than $10,000 in energy costs once the work is complete, Boike said.

The grant recipients will be announced in the spring.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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