Hastings Public Schools taxpayers will owe roughly the same amount as last year to the school district in 2020.

The Hastings School Board approved its 2020 property tax levy of $17,739,953.28 at its Dec. 10 meeting. This will be a .13% decrease from last year’s 17,762,784, which marked a 3.67% increase from 2018.

The levy is determined each year in accordance with formulas and requirements set by the state Legislature.

This year, Hastings has an increased tax base by 6.7%, and a 7.2% increase in referendum market value.

“All of those numbers are used in the formulas in different ways. It’s good that it’s increasing,” said Hastings Public Schools Director of Business Jennifer Seubert.

No taxpayers spoke during public comment.

In other news…

  • This meeting marked the last for Superintendent Tim Collins and school board members Joe Becker, Ross Rohloff and Peter Blissenbach.

  • The board approved a new policy for crowdfunding and employee fundraising for school purposes. The school district previously did not have regulations in place, and the new policy allows employees to have a fundraiser with approval from their supervisor. The fundraisers will take place through an approved online platform, which will then purchase the items and donate them to the school.

  • The school board approved change orders for three ongoing contracts: a chiller replacement and boiler stack extension at Hastings High School ($5,051.31), cameras for schools district wide ($15,547.28) and improvements at Hastings Middle School ($119,742).

  • Six “Employees of the Semester” were recognized: Secretary Beth Dannenberg at McAuliffe Elementary; Assistant Director of Special Education Sarah Kloeckl; sixth-grade teacher Ellie Lundstrom at Hastings Middle School; SPED teacher Chuck Varley at Hastings High School; elementary site computer technician Luke Werner; and occupational therapist Margaret Westre at Tilden Community Center.