Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

June 13, 2014

Neoga focuses on efficiency

Jackson Adams

Daily News

NEOGA — Neoga School Board discussed more drastic steps toward creating a more financially stable future.

In April, the board decided to form three subcommittees devoted to exploring the use of the district’s facilities, the potential for a tax referendum on the November ballot and any options for co-oping with other schools, or consolidation. As of now, no action has priority over another, and the board is still looking for the financial information, projected enrollment and a more complete picture of the districts’ needs before taking any action.

One step to get those numbers was taken at Thursday’s board meeting when the board approved paying an architect from BLDD no more than $4,000 to find the best possible use of space in buildings and viability of closing one of them. Board Member Julie Butler said having analysis done by a third party wouldn’t just benefit closure talks but would be information that could be analyzed by all of the committees.

“We’re going to have the numbers,” she said. “We’re going to have the proper ways to know how to use all the buildings.”

Superintendent Chuck Castle said having those numbers will give the district a more authoritative stance if there is a need to have discussions with the community about building closures.

If the board decides to move forward with a tax referendum, board Member Chuck Campbell said the deadline to place it on the ballot for the November election is Aug. 14, giving the board only a month to decide whether that sort of measure is necessary.

He said, for now, the board and referendum committee need to have more information and a clearer picture of the community’s thoughts on a potential tax referendum.

“The approach that we’re really taking is what expenditures are out there and what steps do we need to take,” he said. “We’re trying to anticipate what the community’s thoughts are going to be.”

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