One of the first major pieces of business conducted by the “new” 2019-20 Vermillion School Board Monday night, July 8, was the approval of a resolution calling for the adoption of the annual budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.

This budget includes a general fund that totals $8,987,188, a capital outlay fund of $2,323,000, a special education fund of $1,781,365, a pension fund of $96,000, a food service program fund of $597,000, and an enterprise fund of $259,455.

The tax levies certified to the Clay County auditor will be: for the general fund, a levy of $1.473 for ag property, a levy of $3.296 for owner occupied property and a levy of $6.821 for non-ag property; for the capital outlay fund, $2.35 million; a levy of 1.616 for the special education fund; and $880,000 for the opt out levy.

“The Finance Committee and the board have been working on budget now, along with Sheila (Business Manager Sheila Beermann) and I for the past several months and have had updates through the past couple months about what a potential budget may look like,” said Superintendent Damon Alvey, “and this evening it will be posted and ratified for approval.”

“We want to thank the community and the public in general. We are blessed to have been given more money to work with through an opt-out,” said board member Tim Schwasinger. “This is our 15th year of that opt-out, so we thank the community for their trust and their confidence. We appreciate that very much.”

The opt-out funds go to district's general fund. The current opt-out remains in effect until Dec. 31, 2020.

“That opt-out will need to be renewed later this school year,” Schwasinger said, “so we’ll continue to talk about that and I think that judging by preliminary discussions we’ve had in the Finance Committee, it will stay at the $880,000 amount. That’s what it’s presently been for the last five years and so, again, we want to make sure that’s out there and people understand that’s how we’ve been able to move some things forward by having the flexibility with that additional money. We appreciate that very much.”

He noted during the last three years, there has been “little, incremental” growth in the Vermillion School District.

“That’s pretty exciting, but we still budget as is if we’re hopefully going to have 1,230 students and we’ve had more than that so we pray that that continues to be higher come September,” Schwasinger said.

“Something else worth noting is the tremendous job that the Finance Committee and Sheila and Damon have done as we have explored additions in staff and changes in our programming,” School Board President Doug Peterson said. “We’ve done much of that through savings in other areas. We are really becoming very efficient. I think that’s an important thing to remember.”

Planning by board in the area of the district’s insurance plan has also been beneficial.

“This is the first time we haven't had an increase in our health insurance costs for as long as I’ve been on the board,” Peterson said. “That doesn’t mean it’s not still an expense; it’s a pretty big expense, but we can keep our fingers crossed on that going into the next year.”

Revenue from the general fund goes toward staff salaries. All returning teachers, under the new budget, receive 2.6 percent raise on their salaries plus any credit/degree changes as applicable. The hiring schedule base for FY20 is $40,000.

Administrators receive a 2.6 percent on their salaries and classified staff receive an increase of 2.6 percent or a flat amount as determined by the Finance Committee. A one-time longevity bonus of between $200 to $500 was given.

The school district will pay $730 towards the employees' $1,500 and $2,000 deductible health insurance plan and will continue to pay $755 towards employees' $4,000 high deductible plan. The district will pay $36.68 towards a dental insurance plan.

“The district works really hard to hire the best people we can and put them in classrooms and all of the positions in our buildings,” Alvey said, “to serve students. We’ve got great professionals working for the benefit of kids in our district each day. This budget is reflective of trying to find the best staff and provide the best resources possible.

“There’s always a limit to budgets but we do the best we can in trying to create something that makes Vermillion special and does the best for our community,” he said.

Alvey added that people with questions about the budget are welcome to stop by the administration office and seek answers from him and Business Manager Sheila Beermann.

“Sitting on the school board, we’re asked to do a lot of things with ‘x’ amount of money,” Schwasinger said. “Gov. Noem and our elected representatives have to do the same thing and they have a lot more asks for that money, so we appreciate what they’ve done this past year.

“If you like what you’ve seen this past year, we ask for the public’s help in helping them to understand that what they’ve done this past year for education was definitely a benefit and we need to continue to see that moving forward,” he said. “We need everybody’s engagement to make that happen.”

State aid received by the Vermillion School District is based on the fall 2018 enrollment level of 1,230 students. The target salary in the formula went up 2.5 percent with a continual adjustment for “other revenue.” The general fund balance is capped at 25 percent.

Workers Compensation expense was increased as the MOD (modification factor) went from 1.51 to 2.13, a 41 percent increase. The district's transportation is budgeted in both the General Fund and Capital Outlay Fund. The Special Education Fund budget includes the applicable amount of transportation for that fund.

Grant dollars have been removed until approval of grants in the fall.

When the last of the business of the 2018-19 school board was completed, it was adjourned, and Superintendent Damon Alvey called to order the first school board meeting of the 2019-20 school year. Business Manager Sheila Beermann administered the oath of office to board members Doug Peterson and Jim Peterson, who both were unopposed in their bids for re-election to new terms on the board in the June school board election.

Board members selected Fairholm to continue as the school board president, and Schwasinger remains the board's vice president.

One of the first bits of routine  business completed by the 2019-20 school board was the approval of the publishing of the 2019-20 annual salaries and hourly wages of school district staff.

Annual Salary for the 2019-20 School Year:

Michaelene Adams, $55,889.00;CheriAhrendt, $14.52 per hour; Damon Alvey, $130,414.00; Jill

Amundson, $44,942.00; Sarah Armbrust, $43,623.00; Mary Ashes, $45,096.00; Jennifer Ashley,

$41,989.00; Amy Askew, $39,426.36; Brenda Auen, $11.85 per hour; Stacey Baedke, $47,320.62; Camyron Ballard, $12.31 per hour; Callie Beach, $41,972.00; Christina Beach, $12.14 per hour; Terry Beacom, $47,712.00; Sheila Beermann, $97,281.00; Mary Begley, $53,846.00; Timothy Bellis, $11.79 per hour; Angie Bickett, $50,051.00; Lenni Billberg, $49,715.00; Deana Bingen, $11.79 per hour; Erica Bottolfson, $48,252.00; Jon Brooks, $53,100.00; Kayla Brouwer, $40,353.00; Elizabeth Bruemmer, $45,596.00; Justin Brunick, $45,996.00; Gretchen Burbach, $46,036.00; Anna Cable, $12.47 per hour; Cindy Carrington, $16.49 per hour; Laura Chandler, $41,532.00; Paige Chapman, $48,328.00; Collin Crandell, $40,750.00; Gary Culver,$67,765.00; Megan Custis, $42,380.00; Dan Cwach,$44,030.00; Joe Delvaux, $55,802.00; KamiDibley, $49,510.00;John Dimock, $46,600.00; Stephanie Dominguez, $11.79 per hour; Jay Drake, $63,608.40; Lisha Edelen, $11.85 per hour; Aaron Fader, $48,776.00; Shannon Farmer, $12.50 per hour; Kelly Fischbach,$62,592.00; Kylie Fischbach,$11.79 per hour; Trisha Fisher, $53,954.00; Shannon Fitzsimmons, $50,743.00; Sarah Fowler, $11.25 per hour; Jon Frey, $88,240.00; Natalie Frickel, $42,621.00; Marvin Gagarin,$11.79 per hour; Troy Garrett, $72,788.00; Kelly Gilkyson, $63,793.00; Mecia Graham, $17.70 per hour; Sara Hage, $49,756.00; Chelsea Hall,$40,922.00; Beth Hansen, $51,394.00; Jean Hansen, $59,323.00; Luke Hayes, $42,700.00; Kelly Heine, $55,193.00; Tom Heisinger, $45,502.00; Teramie Hill, $42,289.00; Chabli Hodge, $41,350.00; Andy Homan, $51,471.00; Jamie Hovden, $46,709.00; Jason Huska, $75,220.00; Ashlie Jacobs, $46,885.73; Samuel Jacobs, $75,651.00; KariJensen, $57,230.00; LoriJerred, $53,359.00; Audrey Job, $43,934.00; Kim Johnson, $85,427.00; Suzanne Johnson, $49,290.00; Terry Johnson, $16.83 per hour; Sue Jopling, $48,388.00; Kimberly Karlson, $11.79 per hour; Nicole Kirsch, $12.50 per hour; Jolene Klemme, $43,921.00; Carrie Koble,$45,146.00; Nicolette Koch, $41,501.00; Carla Kozak, $51,748.00; Sharla Krell, $12.23 per hour; Steve Kruse, $72,096.00; Michele Larson, $11.54 per hour; Jennifer Law, $45,756.00; James Lee, $17.06 per hour; Julie Lewison, $47,392.00; Cindy Lias, $44,246.00; David Lind, $42,068.00; Lindsey Lucas, $42,380. 00; Melanie Mahowald, $43,597.00; Trevor Mandernach, $43,174.00; Carrie Mart,$49,315.00; Casey Mart, $40,922.00; Dan Mart, $48,547.00; Maria May, $43,272.00; Anthony McRae, $40,672.00; Tanna Miiller, $42,621.00; Haley Molzen, $11.54 per hour; Todd Moore, $20.00 per hour; Betsy Martinsen, $41,543.00; Hannah Mosterd, $44,535.00; Jayme Mulheron, $17.44 per hour; Rebecca Nelsen, $43,760.00; Amanda Nyhaug, $44,286.00; Tom O'Boyle, $82,833.00; Carly O'Connor,

$43,885.00; Garret Olson, $46,944.00; Roxane Olson, $52,080.00; Josephine Pickett, $15.06 per hour; Mark Pier, $51,341.00; Ben Powell, $12.79 per hour; Jessie Rasmussen, $44,097.00; Megan Razcondurazo, $10.40 per hour; Kimber Reins,$43,630.00; Jon Reuvers, $52,167.00; Becky Rider, $61,174.00; Sara Rohde, $20.52 per hour; Liisa Ronning, $51,984.00; Patricia Rosdail, $48,008.00; Charles Rydstrom, $12.50 per hour; Darcy Sammelson, $48,443.00; Sarah Sayavong, $42,168.00; John Schloss, $41,860.00; Shalea Schloss, $40,000.00; Emily Schmidt, $11.79 per hour; Patty Schwasinger, $48,695.00; Gretchen Scoblic, $53,072.00; Kurt Seibel, $48,294.00; Bill Settles, $52,966.00; Desiree Settles, $11.79 per hour; Floyd Solomon, $12. 31per hour; Amy Sorensen, $42,427.00; Teresa Stephens,$11.79 per hour; Jasmine Stewart, $11.79 per hour; Kelly Stone,$44,568.00; Mackenzie Stone, $11.54 per hour; Lisa

Swanson,$12.89 per hour; Judy Sykes, $15.00 per hour; Gabi Taggart, $42,896.00; Nichole Tarr, $49,353.00; Mary Turner, $11.79 per hour; Alyssa Walker, $11.60 per hour; John Walker, $12.50 per hour; Brandy Wallin, $47,707.00; Tagney Walters, $43,478.00; Barb Waters, $44,459.00; Misty Welts, $44,425.00; Melinda Whisler, $44,915.00; Dawn Wirth,$79,220.00; Jodi Zeller,$49,389.00.

Annual Lump Sum Payment, to be paid December 2019, according to FTE: Todd Moore, $761.67; Judy Sykes, $488.67.


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