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Education

District 99 talks superintendent search, tax rates

DOWNERS GROVE – The Community High School District 99 Board of Education tackled several issues at Monday's meeting, including the superintendent search, tax rate reallocation, a water main replacement and new textbooks.

Board members Deborah Boyle and Keith Matune were absent.

1. Superintendent search

The board has narrowed down the list of search firms it's considering to help hire the next superintendent.

The two firms are Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates and School Exec Connect. Both will present at the board's May 4 meeting, when a firm will be selected.

According to a proposal submitted to the board, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates would charge a consulting fee of $19,500 in addition to other expenses related to the search. School Exec Connect would charge $17,500 with additional costs.

The board has worked with both firms previously.

Board members said because they've worked with both before, they felt comfortable bringing them in for interviews. The board was considering three firms, but ruled one out because they hadn't worked with them before.

"I know all the individuals of the three firms," said Superintendent Mark McDonald. "I believe all of them are really good. It's a matter of opinion who would work better with the board."

2. Tax rate reallocation

The board voted to reallocate its tax rate for the coming year.

The district was informed it will receive about $72.3 million in property tax allocations from the county – slightly less than the amount the board requested in its November tax levy.

The board reallocated the taxes to make sure they didn't exceed tax caps. District Controller Mark Staehlin said the board cut back additional funding to the district's social security fund because there is a surplus in that fund. The reallocation plan does not involve cuts to proposed additions to education, maintenance or other funds.

Staehlin said the district property tax increase will be 2.02 percent. There is a 1.5 percent increase on existing taxes and a 0.62 percent increase on new construction. Staehlin said there was also a 0.1 percent tax decrease from a group of homes that deannexed from the district.

3. Water main replacement

The board approved hiring Yorkville company Kendall Excavating to replace a water main at Downers Grove South High School.

Director of Operations Jim Kolodziej said the water main runs south from 63rd Street to the school building.

"About a year ago, we experienced a split near the building. When we dug it up, we realized that this line has deteriorated," he said.

Kendall Excavating was the low bidder, at $68,865. Kolodziej said that's less than the amount the district budgeted for repairs.

The other two bids were $82,616 from Hoppy's Landscaping of Lockport and $97,640 from Unique Plumbing of Brookfield.

4. Textbooks approved

The board greenlighted three new textbooks for the 2015-16 school year.

Gina Ziccardi, assistant superintendent of student learning, said the classes getting the books are Math 3, Spanish 1 and Multicultural Studies in American Society.

The board posted information about the books, but received no public input before the vote.

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