Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Baldwin-Woodville Area School District has a Budget

The Baldwin-Woodville Area School District has a budget for the 2007-08 year.

It's late, but blame that on the Wisconsin legislature and governor which didn't pass a state budget with school aids figures until recently.

The budget for this school year was passed at a special meeting last Thursday, November 1.

B-W Superintendent of Schools Rusty Helland said he's disappointed that the legislature didn't get their job done and have the state's budget completed by the deadline. He added that there were winners and losers in the final budget that the state did pass. He said B-W was one of the losers, but only on a small scale to the tune of $7,070.

According to Superintendent Helland, back in July the Department of Public Instruction informed the B-W district that it would receive about $9,402,700 in state aid. However, the final budget included only $9,272,344 in state aid, a difference of $130,356.

But, in an effort to bridge that gap between what was expected and what was finally passed, the legislature increased the tax credit for schools and in B-W's case the amount that taxpayers will receive in credits is $123,286, or $7,070 less than the difference in what was expected in general school aid and what actually passed.

"I call it a rebate," said Superintendent Helland. "It will show up on property tax bills as a rebate." He noted, however, that the district has to levy from the taxpayers the difference in what was expected and what will be actually received. So school taxes will increase about eight cents per thousand, before the tax credit, making a mill rate of 9.53, compared to last year's of 9.45.

Helland said if the tax credit is considered the mill rate would be down by approximately .35.

"So the real bottom line, big picture is that school taxes are going down again," said Helland. "People say 'we pay more in taxes,' but the school taxes are going down per thousand. For the same value of property, you pay less for school taxes."

This year's B-W school budget is $18,198,505. Of that amount, state general aid accounts for $9,272,344. The remaining amount is not all placed on the tax levy because of other categories of aid received from both state and federal sources.

The final tax levy, excluding the amount of debt service, is $6,56,046,892, which is an increase of 4.46% over last year's budget. The levy for debt service is an additional $2,215,262.

The levy is supported by equalized valuation of $656,046,892 in the school district. That valuation is an increase of 3.55% over last year's equalized valuation.

B-W Students in Honors Choir

Baldwin-Woodville students who participated in honors choirs at Madison on October 27 are, left to right, Reid Anderson, Rachel Hanson and Kirsten Hoffman.

B-W students Rachel Hanson, Reid Anderson and Kirsten Hoffman recently performed in Madison with the Wisconsin State Honors Choir.

Rachel Hanson was accepted into the Wisconsin Middle Level State Honors Choir! This choir is comprised of 100 seventh, eighth and ninth grade students from across the state. Rachel auditioned last spring and was invited to be a part of this choir in June. Rachel traveled to Madison October 25 to rehearse and then performed on Saturday, October 27 at the WI State Music Conference. In total, 1,459 students auditioned for the Middle Level State Honors Music Project. 305 students were selected for the three ensembles - choir, band and orchestra. Rachel is the daughter of John and Julie Hanson.

Reid Anderson and Kirsten Hoffman were accepted into the Wisconsin High School State Honors Mixed Choir. This 100 voice choir is comprised of students in grades ten, eleven and twelve. Reid and Kirsten both auditioned last February and were notified in April that they were selected. In June they attended a three day music camp held on the UW-Green Bay campus. On Wednesday, Oct. 24 they traveled to Madison to put the finishing touches on their music. Their Honors Concert was Thursday evening, October 25 at the Overture Center in Madison as part of the WI State Music Conference. 1,695 students auditioned for the High School State Honors Music Project. 419 students were selected for the five ensembles - mixed choir, treble choir, jazz ensemble, orchestra and concert band. Reid is the son of Keith and Mary Anderson. Kirsten is the daughter of Gary and Randi Hoffman.

B-W choral directors Janet Hanson and Jane Thompson also extend their congratulations to these outstanding musicians. These students were excellent representatives of our music program, our schools and our communities.

Relay for Life Team Receives Award

The Baldwin Area Medical Center's Relay for Life team was presented with the American Cancer Society National Fundraising Club Award this October for raising over $10,000 in June's Relay for Life event in New Richmond. Only 94 teams out of 3,700 were able to reach this level. The team raised over $12,000 for the continued fight against cancer and direct patient support. The award was presented at the 2007 Leadership Summit in Wisconsin Dells. Accepting the award on behalf of the team was its team captain, Tom Schreiber, at center.

Clear Lake Man Killed in I-94 Crash

A Clear Lake man was killed in an I-94 one vehicle crash near Hudson early Sunday.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, David P. Fischbach, 23, of Clear Lake, was pronounced dead. He was not wearing his seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle, the State Patrol said.

The other man in the vehicle was James Smith, 22, of Hudson. State Patrol officers said it was unclear whether Smith was wearing his seat belt at the time of the rollover. He was taken to Regions Medical Center in St. Paul and was released later Sunday.

The 2004 Chevrolet Impala had been traveling westbound on I-94 when the rollover accident occurred. The crash happened about 2:50 a.m. Sunday near the southbound STH 35 exit ramp.

Also responding to the accident scene were Hudson fire and ambulance and the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department. The accident remains under investigation, according to the State Patrol.

Fire Destroys Home in Hammond

A home in Hammond was a complete loss due to a fire which struck the structure early Saturday morning.

According to Gary Newton, Chief of the Baldwin Station of United Fire and Rescue, firefighters were summoned to the scene of the blaze about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. He said the house, just east of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond on CTH TT, was fully engulfed in flames and the roof had already fallen in when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Newton said the house was unoccupied at the time of the fire. He did not know the cause of the blaze and said it remains under investigation.

Early Monday afternoon firefighters were summoned to the scene of a small grass fire east of Baldwin near USH 12. The fire was easily extinguished, Newton said.