The Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education has adopted the 2013-2014 Preliminary Budget for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.
The action came Monday evening (June 17) following a public hearing during which there were no citizen comments.
The budget projects revenues of $23,781,274 and expenditures of $24, 656,659, thus showing a revenue shortfall of $875,386.
The resolution to adopt the budget also sets various millage levies to support the spending plan:
17.7242 mills for operating purposes on all non-homestead and non-qualified agricultural property
.5 mills for the 2004 debt
.7 mill for the 2007 bond refunding
4.36 mills for the 2008 bond refunding
.54 mills for the 2012 bond refunding.
The total of the debt retirement levies – at 6.1 mills – is down from 6.4 mills last year.
The non-profit, Three Rivers-based organization *culture is not optional (*cino) has completed its purchase of the former Huss Elementary School in Three Rivers.
As noted in a Tuesday (June 11) post on The Huss Project website, “As of today at 3:15 p.m., we signed the final papers and received the deed to the historic Huss School building in Three Rivers, Michigan. Wow!”
The post reports the progress made since the land contract purchase of the property in June of 2009 and the success of “a Brick Campaign to raise $100,000: $50,000 to pay the balloon payment and another $50,000 to renovate a functional room in the building.” It also notes “the incredible support of wonderful people near and far” in helping to meet the first goal of the Brick Campaign.
The Huss Project website says that, “In collaboration with a variety of partners, *cino is working to turn this obsolete property into residential space and a community center emphasizing food, play and the arts.”
Sturgis Public Schools athletics director Mark Adams said the district is expressing an interest in joining the Wolverine Conference athletic league.
Although the concept is in its infancy, Adams said Sturgis is aware the conference is interested in adding at least one other team, with the impending departure of Comstock. A Wolverine Conference meeting is expected to take place next week and the issue of what school might fill Comstock’s void – or whether to add at least three more teams – will likely be discussed.
Adams said Sturgis has sent a letter of interest to Wolverine Conference officials, but he reiterated the idea has a way to go.
The Wolverine Conference includes similar-sized schools as Sturgis, and features Three Rivers, Vicksburg and Paw Paw.
Sturgis is currently a member of the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference.
Three Rivers Community Schools Superintendent Roger Rathburn is a finalist for the superintendent’s position with Portage Public Schools.
Rathburn, who has been planning to retire from Three Rivers a year from now, is one of a trio of candidates for the Portage post currently held in an interim basis by Rob Olsen.
Portage school officials have indicated first-round interviews will take place next week. A meeting June 14 will narrow the field for second-round interviews June 19 and 20.
The 50-year-old Rathburn, who is finishing his 12th year as Three Rivers superintendent, currently earns more than $129,000 annually.
A Three Rivers High School graduate planning to attend Grand Valley State University was named the recipient of the 12th Ron Reece Scholarship.
Lizzy Skalski, a 2013 high school graduate, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship, renewable annually for a total of four years.
Named in honor of the late Three Rivers Community Schools superintendent, the Ron Reece Memorial Scholarship is presented to graduates entering the field of education. Skalski has indicated she would like to become a secondary English teacher.
The Reece family has awarded the scholarships over the past six years.
More than 40 people took part in Saturday’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser for the Three Rivers-based Domestic And Sexual Abuse Services agency.
Staying consistent with the event’s name, most of the male participants wore high-heeled shoes as they walked a mile on the Three Rivers High School track.
Event co-chair Rose Parshall said the second-annual walk was fortunate to once again draw a number of representatives from law enforcement, as well as prosecuting attorneys from St. Joseph and Cass counties.
DASAS provides services for women in St. Joseph, Cass and Van Buren counties.