Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012, 10:44 pm

Mercer County schools delay tax levy approval

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By Cathy Decker, correspondent@qconline.com

ALEDO -- The Mercer County School District Board of Education on Wednesday held off voting on the fiscal 2013-2014 tax levy pending more details from superintendent Alan Boucher.

Board member Dwight Shoemaker said he would be more comfortable voting on the measure if each of the eight tax category amounts were disclosed per category rather than a grand total figure.

After reaching a consensus to levy as much as is legally allowed for each category, board members decided to meet again to vote on next year's tax levy at a special meeting set for 6 p.m. Dec. 18.

Mr. Boucher said it is estimated the equalized assessed valuation in the county will increase 1.5 percent.

In other business, board members voted to back a 1 percent sales tax referendum on the April 2013 ballot. If passed, the district expects to receive an additional $316,000 in revenue from taxpayers for the next fiscal year which runs June 30, 2013, through July 1, 2014.

In other action, the board:

-- Accepted the low bid of $21,596 submitted by FSS Inc. of Illinois City for 12 more security cameras at Mercer County Junior High in Joy.

-- Learned Apollo Elementary's poverty rate of 44 percent qualified it to adopt a Title 1 schoolwide plan.

-- Heard the district is reviewing health/life safety measures at the Joy junior high building that would include installing new hall lockers and some gymnasium windows and looking at ways to repair outside bleacher handrails as part of the five-year maintenance plan.