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BREAKING NEWS

BEA Board discusses budget

By Staff | Jun 19, 2016

The Blue Earth Area School Board had a large variety of items to take care of at last Monday’s monthly meeting, but one stood out.

They passed the original budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year and it had some big numbers.

The budget called for $15.8 million in expenditures for the district. With approximately $15 million in expected revenues, that means the district will operate with an $800,000 deficit.

The actual number is $786,000, and superintendent Evan Gough said the deficit includes a variety of items that have already been earmarked for the coming school year.

“We have our long-term facilities expenses which accounts for $236,000 of the deficit, and the Health and Safety budget is another $100,000,” Gough said. “That totals $336,000.”

The superintendent added that some revenue for the long-term facilities expenses will be recouped later.

The other half of the deficit comes from some revenue reductions from having fewer students in the school, including a smaller incoming kindergarten class.

“We also have fewer students on the free and reduced meal program,” Gough explained. “That is good news, but it also means less revenue coming in.”

The other major item is the scheduled purchase of two full size buses and one mini-bus, at a cost of $280,000.

All together that totals the $780,000 in deficit spending.

Gough said this is pretty much a standard budget for this time of the year.

“More important is the revised budget that will be presented later in the school year,” he added.

Two other items the board accepted on Monday night that have budget implications were the non-certified staff contract and the bus driver contract.

Both contracts are for two years, 2016-2018.

The non-certified staff contract included two salary steps and a 30 cents per hour increase in the second year.

The cost of the contract to the district would be a $49,132 increase the first year and a $78,675 increase in the second year.

That is a 2.9 percent increase in year one and a 4.65 percent increase in year two of the contract.

The bus driver contract had included two steps but now will be down to one. There would be a $1 per route increase each year and a 50 cent per hour increase.

In year one of the contract the increase to the district will be $9,257 or 2.81 percent and in year two will be $7,230 or 2.87 percent.

Both superintendent Gough and board chair Frankie Bly said the contract negotiations went extremely smoothly.

In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the board:

Approved Community Education staff wages for 2016-2017.

Approved a contract with CliftonLarsonAllen, accountants, for completing the district’s annual audit, at a fee of $16,900.

Approved two resolutions relating to the election of school board members this fall and setting the dates for the filing of affadavits of candidacy. Those filing dates are Aug. 2-16.

Approved membership in the Minnesota Rural Education Association at a membership fee of $2,397.

Approved six financial institutions as the investment depositories for 2016-2017.

Approved the legal firms of Knutson, Flynn and Deans and Frundt & Johnson as legal representatives for 2016-2017.

Approved staff use of Walmart and HyVee charge cards. Approved staff members Alan Wilhelmi, Karen Hougen and Heidi Olson to be authorized to make wire transfers and wire payments.

Approved many personnel items including a retirement of Fay King, leave request for Allison Dallager and the hiring of Peter Miller as high school custodian.

They also approved contracts for Lynn Anderson as Little Giants coordinator/ teacher and Sarah Fering as Community Ed program/ district communication coordinator.