The Melissa Independent School District board of trustees accepted the canvass returns of the May 6 election, swearing in incumbent George James for his sixth term in Place 1, and incumbent Bill Gray for his second term in Place 2.

The board also elected board officers: George James was elected president, Bruce Minchey was elected vice president, and Paul Anderson was elected secretary.

A construction update on the new elementary was given by Stantec Architecture. Planning for the new elementary has entered the bidding phase. On June 15 bids for the school will be due and a representative for the architecture firm said he hopes to have dirt turning by July. Construction should take one year and a fall 2018 completion date is estimated.

Jason Bell with Symmetry Turf gave an update on the baseball and softball complex. Bell reported that the first phase has been completed. Using local soil to build the back retaining wall has slowed down construction though, and to make up for time lost on that, Bell said they will be starting work on the softball field.

Lance Rainey, the executive director of administrative services, gave an update on the 2018-2019 budget. The budget is conservative and based on a 95 percent attendance rate district wide, a 98 percent tax collection rate, and an estimated 225 new student enrollment.

In the budget, returning teachers in the district will receive a $500 pay increase and a holiday incentive of turkey and ham. The total tax rate should stay the same, hovering at $1.67, and district will present the final budget to the board this August at their regularly scheduled meeting for approval.

The board approved moving the Fiscal Year from Sept. 1 up to July 1 beginning with the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year. This will allow the district to beginning using funds sooner before the start of the school year.