The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Education

April 15, 2014

Central approves school budget

DEWITT — Four public hearings opened the Central Community School Board meeting last week. There was no input or questions to assist the board in its decision-making on budgets and capital expenditures.

An amendment to the current fiscal year budget was approved for actual expenses, increasing instruction costs to $10,444,000; total support services to $5,043,950; non-instructional programs to $975,000; and other expenditures to $3,988,433.

The fiscal year 20014-15 budget also was quickly approved. In a budget workshop prior to the meeting, business director Tina Bartels reported enrollment had declined by 10 percent and it is enrollment that determines the budget. Basic enrollment is 1,477.6 students and with weighted enrollment (special education and supplementary, such as at risk) the total is 1,495.37. Pre-school enrollment is 46 1/2.

New money is projected to be $167,605, but without the current year’s budget guarantee, the net new money is a negative $10,907.

The management fund levy was increased to reflect early retirement participants’ costs. Bartels said the fund had been in the negative all year. There will be 22 retired teachers in the program in 2014-15.

The construction fund account will have a zero balance, with $338,794 in STAR pledges yet to come in through 2015. The general fund solvency ratio is currently projected at 5.6667, which is a healthy ratio, Bartels said. In addition, the regular cost per student is $6,366.

The district will have a slightly lower tax rate than the last three years at $15.07232 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This is 30 cents less than 2013-14.

The board approved the bid of $259,869 from Holst Construction of DeWitt to install concrete in the operations department parking lot. Though two lower bids came in after the deadline, operations director Keith Walker said he followed the rules in recommending Holst’s bid. The board decided to install concrete rather than asphalt at about $70,000 more in cost because the life expectancy of concrete is nearly double that of asphalt.

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