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By Carmen Ensinger
Carrollton Superintendent Mark Halwachs is beginning to sound like a broken record when talking about the district’s share of the penny sales tax they receive each month. For several months now, Halwachs has been telling the school board that the district received the largest penny sales tax check to-date and this month was no exception.
Halwachs, at the Dec. 20 meeting of the board, announced that the district received a check in the amount of $21,701 for the period of Oct. 15 through Nov. 15.
“This is the largest check we have received so far and this doesn’t even include the Thanksgiving holiday,” he said. “I think we could receive another really, really good check next month as well.”
Halwachs updated the board on what the money from the penny sales tax has been used for.
“We have leveraged our penny sales tax to modernize the high school,” he said. “In the past year, we have used the penny sales tax to pay for the asbestos abatement. We currently have around $60,000 in that fund so we will be able to use those funds for the 50/50 matching funds ($50,000) we will be getting from the state to do the abatement.”
Halwachs said that if the money keeps coming in at the rate it is now, the district will be able to do even more projects.
The district installed bipolar ionization units at the high school and an air quality study was done before and after their installation.
These units use air purification technologies to deactivate airborne viruses, such as COVID-19. These bipolar ionization devices create millions of positive and negative oxygen ions that, when released into the air, remove hydrogen molecules from the viral cells they come in contact with to inactivate them.
“The results were that after their installation, everything dropped dramatically,” Halwachs said. “Some rooms had zero readings so they are really working. We are going to try to add another tier of protection to try and keep our students and staff safe. They really improve the air quality and this is probably the most efficient way you can do it.”
Halwachs also gave an update on the talks with Ranken on bringing an industrial technology program to Carrollton.
“We are moving forward nicely and I’m very happy with the meetings with them and the discussions we have had,” he said. “The superintendent of Troy, Mo. has had a partnership with them for three years and has invited the board and our team over to see their program.”
According to Halwachs, Troy built a stand alone building to become a vocational center for the entire region.
“On Jan. 14, we have been invited over to look at their equipment, take photos and then come back and report on it to the rest of the board,” Halwachs said. “Then, on March 14, we have set up a fish fry with Ranken and other county people to try and get a partnership going. If we can get this going, this can be something for the entire county and region and something which could possibly lead to jobs in this area so I’m very excited about it.”
The board approved the 2022 tax levy. Halwachs said the assessed valuation of land in the district went up considerably.
“Between the new construction and improvements, the assessed valuation on land in the county went up $575,673,” Halwachs said. “However, being a tax-capped district, we will see very little of that. Our capped levy is at 3.12 percent so no truth in taxation hearing is needed. But land values in the county continue to increase.”
Following a brief closed session, the board approved:
Chad Flowers as volunteer pee-wee head basketball coach.
Will Gillmore as volunteer assistant junior high volleyball coach.