Fayette school board 10.22.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The financial forecast for the Fayette Local School District isn’t a sunny one. District treasurer Angel Adamski cautioned board of education members Monday that some revenue sources are likely to decline.

“With the current economic conditions, a lot of revenue will be decreasing,” she said in her semi-annual five-year forecast update.

Income and property taxes are expected to take a downward turn and property taxes are decreasing, which will lower the district’s total valuation. Tax delinquencies are expected to increase with growing unemployment.

At the state level, budgets are being trimmed, Adamski said, and state per-pupil funding is expected to grow by only one percent, down from the recent trend of 2.2 percent.

On the expenditure side, the district is saving some cash from the health care changes that staff members accepted, but the cost of supplies and utilities will likely continue rising.

“We still have a carry-over,” Adamski told the board, “but we need to watch carefully since we’re still in a deficit spending situation.”

Fiscal year 2009 projections show a deficit of $305,000, growing to $581,800 in 2010, to $627,000 in 2011 and continuing upward.

The fund balance is shown at $1.3 million for 2009, but current projections show the district slipping into the red by 2012.

“Ohio Department of Education requires districts to do a financial forecast for five years, but they really do not give the tools necessary to do the predictions beyond two to three years,” Adamski said. “So the forecasts for years four and five years are based on trends, and not real solid data.”

“The fact that our forecast is so deeply in the red [in 2012] is indicative that we need to cut more spending or increase our revenues.”

 She figures that after another year, she will have a clearer idea of how to advise the board on actions to take.

BUILDING—Board members voted to accept a bid of $81,149 from Link Custom Builders of Fayette for construction of a maintenance building at the new school.

Bids for the project came in better than expected, said superintendent Russ Griggs, although costs are still high because the building must meet certain state requirements and have state-approved architectural prints.

Construction is expected to begin Nov. 2 and wrap up before the end of the year.

The building will be paid by using interest money collected from the school bond.

SAVINGS—Griggs discussed a proposal to lower administrative costs by at least $90,000 over two years. He would work fewer days and more half days and be paid only for his time on the job.

Since he is already officially retired, he doesn’t receive paid vacation time.

WIND TURBINE—Griggs reported that grants for wind turbine projects are expected to increase from $150,000 to at least $250,000. That’s a level of funding that could make a turbine a reality for the school district, he said.

Wind studies are underway at Archbold’s school campus, Griggs said, and the early results are very promising.

PROBLEMS—Griggs met with contractors Oct. 10 to discuss lingering problems with various facets of the new building, including motion sensors, gymnasium lights and exterior door security.

“We’ve had some good progress since that meeting,” he said.

STAFF—Pending background checks, Sarah Bird was approved as a girls basketball volunteer; Brady Raby and Geoff Gilmore were approved as van drivers; Suzy Sommers was hired as junior high cheerleading advisor; Brad Raby was hired as the freshman boys basketball coach; and Eloise Wyse was approved as a classified substitute.

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