By Matt Clevenger
For Miami Valley Today
CASSTOWN — The Miami-East Board of Education on Monday heard an update on a high school bond issue that originally passed in 2008. The bond issue passed then with a rate of 2.46 mill, but board members have approved a lower millage every year since 2015.
“We’ve discussed this every year for the past five years,” district treasurer Lisa Fahncke said. “Beginning with tax year 2015 and forward, I’ve asked the board to reduce millage on the 2008 bond millage. The reason for that was because when we closed the high school project, we had about $1 million that we could retain in the debt service fund to help pay the debt off. In addition to that, in 2016 we were able to refinance the debt.”
“This is just an estimate, but in those five tax years it equates to about $255 per $100,000 appraised-value home,” Fahncke said. “We’re at the end of that process, so at the next board meeting I’ll be bringing a resolution to the board so they can approve millage back to full.”
The bond issue millage will end up being 2.0 mills, still less than the original 2.46 mills approved in 2008.
“It still is a savings, from the original millage passed in 2008,” Fahncke said. “The millage passed in 2008 was 2.46, and we’ve been able to drop that to about 2.0 mills.”
Board members also heard an update on new energy-saving LED lighting that was recently installed throughout the district.
“We’ll be looking at phase two this coming summer,” Dr. Rappold said. “We’re very pleased with the LED flat panel lights in the elementary and junior high science classrooms, and the board office hallway.”
“Last week, Pioneer came out and presented the district with a rebate check of over $26,000 for that project,” he said. “Pioneer hopes that the rebate will continue to stay in place, but the payback is within four or five years even without the rebate.”
Board members also announced several upcoming events during their meeting, including the 5th Annual College Planning Night for seniors and senior parents, to be held at the high school on Wednesday, Sept. 18th at 6 pm. Guest speaker Van Wright, assistant to the vice president for strategic enrollment planning at Bowling Green University, will discuss the do’s and don’ts of selecting the right college.
“It’s a nice way to begin the school year for our seniors, who are starting to wade through that,” Dr. Rappold said. “He does an excellent job. He’s not here as a representative of Bowling Green, he just does a nice job of walking our seniors and parents through that application process.”
In October, representatives from Wright State University will lead a similar event to discuss financial aid options and filling out a FAFSA (free application for student aid).
“For first-time seniors and first-time senior parents, it seems a little daunting to do the FAFSA,” Dr. Rappold said. “So we walk them through that process.”
Also in October, the board announced that there will be an upcoming evacuation drill. “We’ll do a district-wide evacuation,” Dr. Rappold said. “It will just be a school safety scenario; it will not be an ‘active shooter.’ It will be an evacuation.”
“We’ll really work on a few aspects where we want to see how good a job we do,” he said. “I’m not going to go into great detail, because I want to see how well we do it.”
Board members ended the meeting with a call for volunteers to get background checked and help at all the schools in the district. “We’ve got a handful of individuals who are already going through that process this year,” Dr. Rappold said.
For the second year, the district has approved the use of the Background Investigation Bureau to conduct background checks. “We anticipated about 200 last year,” Dr. Rappold said. “When the 2018-2019 school years ended, we had probably background checked well over 400.”
The Miami East Board of Education’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 at Miami East High School.