By Colin Hogan
Voters in the Fulton City School District approved a $68.6 million budget for the 2015-16 school year and re-elected two sitting board members Tuesday.
The budget, which reflects a 1.91 percent increase in spending and a 1.75 percent hike in the tax levy, passed 368-262.
With fewer than 800 votes counted Tuesday evening, Superintendent Bill Lynch said voter turnout was down compared to most years, but he was still pleased to see the public supporting all of the proposals in this year’s referendum.
“It was an okay turnout, but we usually have more votes — often around 1,000 or 1,200. We always hope for a big turnout, because then we know that we’re getting the will of the people,” Lynch said.
In addition to next year’s budget, voters also approved a proposal for two wheelchair-accessible buses and a small funding increase to the Fulton School District Public Library, which last year changed its charter to become a school district tax levy-funded entity. The bus proposal, which passed 347-179, is projected to cost no more than $160,000, and Lynch said most of that could be covered by state aid. The library will now see its tax levy funding increase from $350,000 to $357,344, with that proposal passing 366-155.
Two sitting board of education members, Tim Crandell and Daniel Pawlewicz, were re-elected after running unopposed. Crandell was re-elected with 396 votes. Pawlewicz, the board’s vice president, was re-elected with 391 votes.
“We’re very pleased with the support of the budget, the transportation proposal and that both our current board members are returning,” Lunch said. “We’re also very pleased for the library. It’s good to see they’re getting the support they need through all of the their changes.”
Voters in the Hannibal area also approved their school district’s $30.7 million budget with a count of 235-106.
The referendum also included three propositions: one for the purchase of three school buses, which passed 259-79; one to increase the maximum amount held in the district’s reserve fund, which passed 171-167; and one to establish a transportation reserve fund, which passed 189-147.
HCSD voters also elected three unopposed board members: Jessica McNeil with 227 votes, K. Michael LaFurney with 227 votes, and Marlow Cuyler with 221 votes.
By Colin Hogan