School board discusses PPEL renewal

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


The Washington School Board discussed when to start the process of having a vote for renewing its Physical Plant and Equipment Levy fund.

Superintendent Jeff Dicks said the current PPEL expires in 2021.

?You can get these renewed early, and I think that?s something we should look at as we?re looking at a 10-year facility plan,? Dicks said. ?You don?t want to go in and assume something. You want to get it renewed.?

If renewed, PPEL would be extended to 2031, he added.

?Our voted PPEL is $1, so it has to go to an election and it produces about $450,000 [for the district],? Dicks said.

The 1:1 initiative is funded through the PPEL fund, helps to replace district vehicles and other equipment, he said.

?So I think we need to be really thinking about, do we get that renewed early, and then you can kind of move forward with whatever else you might need,? Dicks added.

Every school district in the state has 33 cents to begin with in the PPEL general fund. Washington School District decided to go to a vote for an additional dollar, so they have $1.33 going toward the PPEL general fund.

There is a process the school district has to start working on to plan a vote for this year, and Dicks said it would be helpful to educate the public about what they use the money for.

?Are we trying to coincide to another vote with something?? board member Heidi Vittetoe asked Dicks.

?No, this is free-standing,? Dicks said.

This would be the second time the general PPEL fund would go up for a renewal vote since he started working in the school district, business manager Jeff Dieleman said.

?It?s been at $1 for over 20 years, so we aren?t asking for anything new,? Dieleman said. ?It?s just going to extend what we?ve been doing for the last 20 years.?

Vittetoe asked Dieleman when the election dates would be. He said he didn?t know but thought possibly next fall.

?So this helps take some pressure off of the general fund or allows us to continue to purchase things that we were not going to, is the general picture?? board president Eric Turner asked.

?Correct,? Dieleman said.

This wasn?t an action item on the agenda Wednesday evening, but Dicks told the board they would probably revisit getting the process started in February or March.