Five superintendents from area schools came together Tuesday night in a round-table discussion to try to educate the public regarding financial woes in school districts. Mike Toeben, superintendent of District 12, invited other area superintendents and the public to a town hall meeting March 24 at the Breese Knights of Columbus Hall.
Superintendents from St. Rose District 14-15, Aviston School District 21, Central Community High School District 71 and Triad Community Unit School District 2 were in attendance for the discussion.
“These superintendents have been gracious enough to come and educate others in our community,” Toeben said to a crowd of approximately 30 people.
District 12 has received a lot of heat lately due to their financial situation, Toeben said, adding that the district has been deficit spending for the past four years.
They are currently seeking a 30-cent tax increase for the school’s Education Fund that is up for vote on the April 7 ballot.
This means that (if approved) the 30-cent tax increase will cost approximately $75 a year for the owner of a home with an assessed valuation of $75,000, $175 per year for a home valued at $175,000 and $275 a year for a home valued at $275,000.
Superintendent Toeben wants the public to understand the district’s financial shortfalls, and while some districts have been blessed, other schools have been hit hard.
“I know this topic has been in the newspapers and I know people are tired of hearing about this, but it’s going to continue to go on with District 12 until something gets fixed,” Toeben said.
Members in attendance at Clinton County Electric Cooperative’s 77th Annual Meeting, held Thursday, March 19 at Central Community High School in Breese, elected Robert Gerstenecker to the Board of Trustees as the new representative for District 1. Gerstenecker replaces John White who retired after more than 20 years of dedicated service to the membership. The members re-elected Vernon Mohesky of District 2 and Ron Becker of District 3. Members also learned of the cooperative’s financial condition, electric rates and improvements made for electric system reliability. According to Treasurer Ronald Becker, 2014 brought in revenue of almost $16,500,000, with expenses of almost $15,900,000 and an operating margin of slightly more than $600,000. Clinton County Electric experienced a slightly higher margin than expected due to an Ameren overcharge refunded to the cooperative’s power supplier Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC), who passed $238,000 of that refund along to the Clinton County Electric Cooperative.
Clean air and water regulations continue to be a major concern for SIPC and its member cooperatives. The generation and transmission cooperative is subject to increasing and stricter state and federal EPA regulations. In 2014, EPA rules added 18 percent to the cost of generating electricity, or $103,000 for every day of the year. Clinton County Electric’s share of it was $2,060,000. Becker explained, “The cost for environmental compliance at our power supplier is certain to increase for 2015 and appears will increase again in 2016. All methods to minimize these costs have been, are being, and will be employed.”
Members who attended this year’s meeting will receive a $10 credit on their April bill. Capital credit checks were also issued to those who were members of the cooperative in 1990.
The Central Cougars got their baseball season underway on Saturday as they dropped a doubleheader with Collinsville. The Cougars are 0-2 on the season and will travel to Staunton for a nonconference tilt on Friday before welcoming in Wood River for a doubleheader in Breese on Saturday.
Mater Dei got their season off to a great start by sweeping Effingham-St. Anthony on the road Saturday.
The Knights will travel to Wesclin on Thursday and Carbondale on Saturday for a twin bill. Mater Dei is currently 2-0 on the season.
The Wesclin Warriors kept up their perfect start to the season with a doubleheader sweep of Wood River on Saturday.
The Warriors are now 3-0 on the season and will host Mater Dei Thursday afternoon at Pete Schumacher Field with a first pitch slated for 4:30 p.m.
The Carlyle Indians split their doubleheader on Saturday as they dropped game one against Flora before winning the nightcap.
Carlyle is now 3-1 on the season and they host Woodlawn on Thursday and will also host a doubleheader with Trico on Saturday.
Collinsville 3, Central 0 (Game 2): The Cougars couldn’t mount any offense in the second of two losses on Saturday.
Central actually outhit the Kahoks 7-5, but could not chase a runner across the plate.
Houston Kruse was the man for Central by going 3-for-4 with three singles. Brandon Richter added a double in the loss.
Jack Strieker pitched well in the loss for the Cougars by going all seven innings where he allowed two earned runs on five hits, no walks and six strikeouts.
Adam Pashea had a hit and two runs batted in for the Kahoks. Mitch Reising pitched three shutout innings to earn the save. He allowed just two hits.
Collinsville 4, Central 1 (Game 1): The Cougars’ offense never got going in the first of two tilts on Saturday at home.
Parker Marchbanks scattered two hits in three innings of work to earn the win for the visitors.
Cole Young went 2-for-3 with two singles and two runs scored for Collinsville. Sean Edrington had a hit and three runs batted in.
The Cougars got their only run of the contest in the bottom of the seventh inning on an RBI from Brandon Richter that chased home Mitchel Rule.
Jack Strieker was 2-for-3 in the loss with a walk and two singles. Dakota Auer was 1-for-3 with a single.
Rule tossed the first six innings for the Cougars and allowed two earned runs on four hits, one walk and three strikeouts.
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