October 01, 2023

NV leaders pleased with passage of PPEL vote

Nodaway Valley Superintendent Paul Croghan describes the passage of the voter-approved Physical Plant and Equipment Levy last week a great start for the district to be able to take care of some underlying problems that are in the process of being identified in its facilities.

The measure passed Tuesday, March 7 with 64.7% of those casting ballots in favor of it. Eight percent of eligible voters turned out for the special election with 220 ballots cast.

“We’re very pleased with the support we were given by the community,” Croghan said.

The generated revenue, which adds up to $4.5 million over a decade, will be able to be used for projects like renovating a boiler in the high school that has reached the end of its life.

That building has two boilers but both are aging. The building could operate with one, however that is not recommended by industry standards because if that one would fail, the building would not have heat.

“Heating is a necessary thing that we need to have in order to have school,” Croghan said. “People pay their taxes so that we have a service called education, and it is consistent and done safely.”

The boiler is just one example of projects that are likely on the horizon for the school. To start, Croghan plans to gather information from architects he can give the board at a work session Thursday, March 23. If they are able, architects might be at that work session to answer questions the board may have as they make selections of which projects to move forward on.

“The process is now beginning because we know we have support for this revenue source,” Croghan said.

The voter-approved PPEL is a levy listed at $1.34 per $1,000 assessed valuation. The impact will end up only being a proposed 58 cents because of budget adjustments the school made in other areas. Those are coupled with a rollback in property taxes the state legislature addressed recently.

Other items needed across the district include improved sidewalks and entrances, improved mechanical systems, roofs, windows, doors and tuckpointing, as well as finishes in those areas.

“We have way more needs than we have resources right now. We have to prioritize to make some decisions,” Croghan said. “It is a great start to have a voted PPEL for that.”

In a separate conversation during the school board meeting last week, Croghan noted that while this year’s enrollment in the district is up, trends can vary with large impacts from year to year, so financial planning for a school district like Nodaway Valley needs to be a couple of years out.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.