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United School District Update

The United School District is entering into an agreement with Simple Ray Solar and has agreed on a letter of intent to install solar panels at the West and North Campuses. Student Representative Carson Clayton explains where the panels will be placed:

“So this solar panel issue we are going to put on our West and North Campus. We are going to have one right in between the road in between the West Elementary and the Junior High. Then we will have them running the border between the cornfields on the North Campus. We are planning to have that. Then there is an information kiosk that our students will need for the educational process. Our Junior High students will study that and see how much energy we are actually saving and much how money we are saving through this solar energy,” Clayton reports.

There is no upfront cost for the district. The solar panels will reduce the electric rate for the district and they will pay the same standard rate per kilowatt for the next 30 years.

At the recent United School Board meeting, the tentative tax levy was approved. Superintendent Jeff Whitsitt reports what was discussed:

“We are projecting just shy of a three percent increase in our Equalized Assess Value (EAV), which we feel like that is a little light right now. The long and short of it is, we are asking for about seventeen percent more in tax proceeds for next year than we got this year. WE do not expect to get that. Our intent is to put a levy out there and request out there that covers our basis. Make sure we cover our expenses first,” Whitsitt explains.

The district is near 70 percent locally funded through property taxes. A truth and taxation hearing will be held before next month’s meeting, where the board will approve the final levy tax for the following year.