Conneaut School Board to adopt a budget without tax increase | New
LINESVILLE – The Conneaut School Board is preparing to adopt a balanced budget without tax increases at its next meeting.
Business Director Greg Mayle made a final presentation on the $ 44.2 million budget at the board meeting on Wednesday. Voting at the June 9 This meeting will be the last step in the budgeting process for the next school year.
Compared to the last budget vote in May, the financial document has undergone only minor changes. There is an increase in income and expenses of $ 49,656.
Mayle said the increase is due to the school district receiving an Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) grant.
The school district also increased funds for the safety committee by $ 2,500 and added $ 16,500 in additional expenses for new cafeteria tables and chairs. In turn, $ 19,000 less will go into reserve funds, balancing expenses.
Although the budget is balanced, it is only this way thanks to the stimulus funds provided by the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic, which Mayle insisted on reminding the board of directors. Without the stimulus, Mayle said the budget would have revenues of $ 39.8 million and expenses of $ 41.1 million, which equates to a deficit of $ 1.3 million.
“In a normal year in quotes, that’s a good estimate of what our deficit would look like,” Mayle said.
Conneaut receives nearly $ 10 million in stimulus funds, most of it – $ 6 million – coming from the third stimulus.
Mayle called on the school district to spread its stimulus spending over the next several years, through the 2024-25 school year. He also suggested that the board not consider any revenue raising measures until the 2022-2023 school year in order to see how funds change as the pandemic ends.
Long-term, Mayle also discussed the school district’s fund balance, which is expected to end this school year and next school year at nearly $ 12.7 million.
Stepping away from “worst-case” projections, Mayle said the school district would deplete its fund balance in 2026-2027.
However, that situation could easily change, Mayle said. For example, if the school district saw an increase in dues, an increase in its basic education grant, and an increase in earned income tax of 2% per year over the same period, as well as some post adjustments due to declining enrollment and return Number of registrations for the COVID-19 pandemic cyber charter, the school district would be able to maintain a fund balance of $ 6.7 million by now the end of the 2026-2027 school year.
“I think this what-if scenario shows the logic of the budget and finance committee for the recommendation to keep taxes stable this year because there is so much we don’t know,” Mayle said. “There is so much we don’t know about what the post-COVID economy will look like, even at the local level.”
Mayle said he felt “confident” to wait a year and see how finances change after that.
In other budget details, Mayle said the capital projects fund is budgeted to spend $ 108,921 for 2021-2022, significantly less than in previous years. However, this is because many of the capital project expenditures were transferred to the general fund and paid for through the stimulus funds.
Additionally, as part of a development for the Food Services Fund, the school district received a waiver allowing it to continue offering free meals under what the federal government calls the “summer option.” seamless ”(SSO).
The SSO is increasing the subsidy foodservice receives for providing free meals, meaning that the foodservice fund will operate in the positive for the year. Typically, the food services fund is in deficit and the school district transfers from the general fund to make up for lost income.
“This has dramatically improved the outlook for the foodservice fund,” Mayle said.
Considering a transfer of $ 250,000 from the General Fund to the Food Services Fund to pay for new equipment, the Food Services Fund is expected to end next year with a positive balance of $ 322,343.
Sean P. Ray can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at [email protected]