The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood board approve millage language


April 17, 2018


Ironwood — The Ironwood Area Schools is asking for the community’s support, as the district’s board of education approved the official language of a bond measure for the August ballot Monday.

The measure is asking voters to approve a tax levy averaging 1.02 mills over five years, with an initial mill rate of .71 in 2019.

One mill translates to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value.

The money increases from the initial .71 mills over the course of the millage as previous bond proposals are completed, according to Superintendent Tim Kolesar, so the total amount taxpayers pay for the district remains relatively constant.

“If we do the schedule they had predicted … we’ll get the total amount of money, but it will be spread out so it won’t be so noticeable to taxpayers that first year,” Kolesar said. “As the taxes on the other bond proposal(s) go down, this one will go up.”

The money would go to repay $735,000 in bonds the district would take out to fund repairs and upgrades to the Luther L. Wright K-12 building — including upgrading the building’s elevator, heating system and technology; as well as making the building more energy efficient — and the purchase of new school buses.

The board discussed the difficulty the district has continuing to provide a quality education for the students while the state doesn’t provide adequate funding to cover all the costs.

Earlier in the meeting, Dan Siirila gave a report on the state of the district’s bus fleet.

Siirila said he inspected all the buses and estimated the board could continue relying on the buses for another three to five years, although the district should probably plan on putting $30,000 to $40,000 aside for the next couple years for the future purchase of the buses.

In other action:

—The board voted not to accept the proposed schedule for the upcoming Gogebic Miners football co-op season in fall and request a meeting with the athletic directors, superintendents and board presidents of the three member schools.

The board objected to the number of home games planned at Bessemer compared to Ironwood and Wakefield-Marenisco, which the board members said was different from the system agreed upon in last year’s agreement forming the co-op.

—The board accepted K-12 Principal Denise Woodward’s recommendations regarding who should graduate in the Class of 2018.

—Kolesar reported there is expected to be a slight increase in student aid from the state for the upcoming fiscal year, with the district getting an extra $230 to $240 per pupil.

—The board heard the district received a National Rifle Association grant for Camp Superior. The $2,157 grant was used to purchase three 20-gauge shotguns, three single-shot .22 rifles and safety equipment.

Jason Hofstede, Gary Kusz and Mary Hampston Kusz were thanked for their work to get the grant.

—The board approved Beth Hendrickson’s resignation from the district’s Great Start Readiness Program and Jackie Rowe’s resignation as Camp Superior coordinator. It also hired Dan Negro as the head middle school track coach for the upcoming season.


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