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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, October 09, 2018 1:00 am

Schools get no public input on '19 budgets

NACS adopts its proposal, FWCS' expected Oct. 22

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

The Northwest Allen County Schools board adopted a nearly $75 million budget Monday night while the Fort Wayne Community Schools board invited public feedback on its proposed $305.9 million spending plan.

Neither board received input from audience members Monday.

NACS Superintendent Chris Himsel noted the 2019 budget adoption was the culmination of work business manager Bill Mallers began last winter. The process included “ample opportunity” for public participation, Himsel said. Its budget hearing last month also had no public comments.

Northwest Allen's $74,810,852 budget is expected to be supported by a nearly $24 million tax levy with an adopted tax rate of 1.4062 – a rate Mallers estimates will settle at 1.08. The 2018 tax rate is 1.1195.

Mallers said too many variables make it difficult to say how the 2019 rate will affect taxpayers.

FWCS expects its anticipated 3 percent tax rate increase would mean the owner of a $100,000 home with the homestead exemption should expect to pay about $8 more than last year, officials said last month.

The corporation's budget adoption is expected Oct. 22.

In other business, the NACS board approved resolutions related to legal requirements for funding the new elementary school construction. Voters approved the project through a referendum in May.

Board President Kent Somers thanked Himsel and Mallers for their efforts on the new building, which is planned for the north side of Hathaway Road between Bethel Road and Indiana 3, or Lima Road.

“I'm very comfortable with what we're doing,” Somers said.

He pointed out the site to his daughter Monday, Somers said, noting she described it as a “great place for a school.”

Himsel – who in August recognized a school bus driver's actions during a bus fire – had another reason to commend a bus driver. Greg Krempel's quick thinking helped save a choking elementary school student Friday afternoon, the superintendent said.

Krempel is a full-time bus driver but is a permanent substitute driver, so he drives different routes, district spokeswoman Lizette Downey said.

“I am told he was calm throughout this ordeal,” she said.

asloboda@jg.net