The Chillicothe R-Ii School Board voted unanimously to place a tax levy increase on the April ballot, at a recent meeting.

During a discussion about the possibility of asking voters to pass a levy increase to help with funding for the schools, which has seen a hit as state and federal funds decrease and costs increase, School Board President Lauren Horsman stated the school district is “in serious need to additional revenue for operating.”

The board then approved the language for the measure, as it will appear on the April 7 ballot.

Superintendent Mike Weibers noted the language also addresses the “sunset” of a previously passed levy that will expire in 2023.

The language reads: “Shall the Board of Education of Chillicothe R-II School District, Livingston County, Missouri be authorized (1) beginning in 2020, to increase the operating tax levy for school operating purposes by sixty-eight cents ($0.68) per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation, and (2) beginning in 2023, to increase the operating tax levy for school operating purposes by another 12 cents ($0.12) per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation, which will replace an operating tax levy in the same amount that will expire by its terms in 2023. If this question is approved, the adjusted operating levy of the District is estimated to be $4.43 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation.”

Weibers noted that the increase, overall is $0.68 per $100, as the $0.12 are taxes already being paid by county property owners.

The board also voted to hire Strata as the architectural firm responsible for designing the Chillicothe R-II School District Central office.

Weibers noted that the district is only responsible for a $1,000 deductible to cover the costs of fees for the new building, as insurance from the May 2019 floods is covering the rest of the fees associated with the new construction.

Chillicothe R-II graduate Claire Ashbrook will be the lead architect for the project. Before making a motion to hire Strata, School Board Member, Pat Jones noted that Ashbrook was also on the design team for the new football stadium.

Following a unanimous vote at the meeting, the district now has an agreement with Preferred Family Health Care, Inc., to allow mental health professionals to come into the school and see students who may need their services.

“There is no cost to the district and preferred Family health Care will work to get the billing handled,” Weibers said. “The good news is this will bring access for mental health care services into the schools and will eliminate the need for students to have to miss hours of school to go for appointments.”