Clubs Rotarians learn about opt-out

Local Rotarians should feel a little more comfortable with the issues surrounding the Vermillion School District's scheduled "opt-out" referendum on Sept. 23, given the information they received Tuesday from Bob Mayer, superintendent.

Mayer's main point in his presentation was that a positive vote on the opt-out would enable the school district to maintain its current level of instruction and services, a level he feels the community is comfortable with.

While the school board and administration have made significant reductions to the district budget over the past three years, Mayer said these cuts have not yet reached a point where the basic quality of education has been affected.

A drop in the number of students enrolled in Vermillion schools, a total of 108 in the past five years has eroded the district's revenue base significantly, since state aid is based largely on a per-pupil formula.

Reductions in budget so far have been possible by drawing down the district's reserve fund and by reducing expenditures, the latter in part because all employees were subject to a salary freeze in 2002-2003.

Vermillion's experience with decreased enrollments is common throughout South Dakota, Mayer said, as only a few districts, like those in the immediate Sioux Falls area, are growing.

The opt-out provision in state law was designed in part to assist receding school districts deal with the reality of declining revenues, and the community has the opportunity to take advantage of that in September.

Rotary guests Tuesday were Damian Donahoe, Ruth Ellen Scott and Darwin Van Den Oever.

Seniors spend time playing cards

Monday fund raiser, the last Monday of each month, eight pitch and 12 bridge players spent a few hours playing cards with their friends. Bridge winners were Shirley Riehle, first; Lois Erickson, second; and Midge Carlson, low.

Refreshments were furnished by Shirley Riehle and Adeline Isaacson, July 28.

Prizes went to Anna Lawrensen, $5, and $2 drawing recipients were Luceal Liffengren, Marilyn Siecke, and Shirley Riehle.

The last Tuesday of the month social evening at the center had eight bridge, eight domino players and 30 dancers, July 29.

The "Dakota Dudes & Dolls" square dance group came at 7 p.m. with some interesting callers. Later country style dancing was also enjoyed.

Come listen to great music, play cards, dominoes, etc., and dance with your friends and neighbors, 7 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month.

Thirteen dominoes players spent the afternoon Tuesday, July 29 with winners Jane Merrigan and Barb Larson. High scorers were Bev Mount and Robin Eisenmenger. Come learn and enjoy the company every Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday, July 30, 23 pitch, four pinochle and 18 bridge players gathered for the afternoon at the Senior Citizens Center. Bridge winners were Elaine Michael, first; Bob Michael, second; Norma Melstad, third; Shirley Riehle, blind bogey; and Leona Kryger, low.

Lois and Maurice Erickson served the refreshments for coffee break.

Come – no reservations needed.

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