Woodsboro school district to operate on deficit budget
by Tim Delaney
Aug 31, 2014 | 1327 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSBORO – With an 8 percent increase to maintenance and operation, and a 43 percent debt increase, the Woodsboro school district will work with a deficit budget in the 2014-15 year.

Superintendent Steven Self gave an overview of the budget at the trustees’ meeting Monday, Aug. 18.

Woodsboro’s bonded indebtedness for the district was $13.285 million, the main reason for the debt increase.

The proposed maintenance and operating tax rate is $1.17 per $100 of property value.

The proposed debt rate or interest and sinking is 28.7 cents for every $100 of property value.

The total proposed tax rate is $1.457 for every $100 of taxable property, or a total 11 percent increase.

Here are previous years compared:

Expenditures for the year 2011-12 were $5.816 million. A surplus that year totaled $106,240.

Expenditures for the 2012-13 year were $6.179 million.

Self said part of those expenditures were for the dome’s doors, required specifications by FEMA to have an F5 tornado standard.

“We would have been very close to projected had it not been for the doors,” Self said.

“In fact, we would have been $200,000 to the good,” he said.

The district spent more than $400,000 for the doors from fund balance, when it planned on spending only $100,000.

The doors cost $250,000, but the protected walls around air conditioning units increased the cost to $400,000.

“We have not been reimbursed,” Self said. “We are supposed to be reimbursed.”

Expenditures for 2014-15 are estimated at $5.921 million with few expenses.

Revenues for the 2014-15 budget are estimated at $5.936 million. Adding the federal funds for cafeteria, the revenues total $6.121 million.

But the district will have a deficit budget of $700,000.

However, Self said the district has surplus of $500,000, bringing the budget closer to being balanced.

He said the district maximized state funding in the current year, but next year with higher values expected, the state is expected to decrease funding by about $1 million.

Also, the district’s reserve funds are for buildings, as well.

Self also said the district is not getting as many students as projected.

The projected number of students was 480, but the actual number was 467. The district is paid about $10,000 per student.

Revenue is going to go down, “but I think the district will be OK,” Self said.

Self said he hopes the state will do something to equalize or fund more.

He said he is hoping for a check from FEMA that would be processed through the state first and then sent to the district.

“That money would go back into reserves,” he said.

Self noted that the district doesn’t have to spend the money in expenditures, and that the money could be left in the budget for buildings or personnel.

One positive saving is coming from the solar energy at the dome.

Budgeted for the electric cost was $175,000. So far, $116,000 has covered the cost.

“We had projected it would save the district $30,000 a year,” Self said. But it looks closer to $40,000 a year savings.

The solar project cost $800,000 with local match at $130,00.

Self said the solar system will make up local cost in four or five years.
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