The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 9, 2014

You want how much?

(Continued)

"Where is this money coming from?" he asked.

The current administration structure houses administrators, like the human resources director, the superintendent, the business office as well as their support personnel.

Eidahl addressed some of the same concerns, which he said are foremost in the minds of the school board members.

The current building, as well as the vacated buildings, need costly renovation if they are to continue serving.

"They're money pits," Eidahl said.

And when it comes to operating costs, housing 12 office workers in a school built for 400 students is not an efficient use of funds.

In fact, those buildings being vacated were left behind partly because they were not cost effective, the superintendent said. The money to build a new office would come from the one penny, statewide sales tax.

Each district gets a portion of those millions to use solely for upgrading, maintaining or constructing school buildings. As for taxes going up, Eidahl said board members have done their part; as more funding came in from other sources, the board has voted most years to reduce how much they are asking of Ottumwa citizens.

Over 10 years, not only has the school district not asked for more per thousand dollars in valuation, they've decreased their "asking" by $3 per thousand.

Maybe, acknowledged McDowell, but our taxes are going up. And the money the district spends, whatever its source, he pointed out, is taxpayer money.

To follow Mark Newman on Twitter, check out @CourierMark

After 13 years on the Ottumwa School Board, board president Carol Mitchell will be stepping down July 1.

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