Archive for Thursday, January 11, 2007

School board eyes list of capital needs

January 11, 2007

Now that the financial problems look to have subsided in the Baldwin School District, the Board of Education has a list of capital projects that it wishes to complete.

Supt. Paul Dorathy informed the board of the current financial situation of the district at Monday's meeting. Dorathy said he asked the state for an advanced payment of $100,000 to help with payroll.

He also said the district will receive a large sum of its tax money Jan. 20. Dorathy also showed the school board that the district is in the positive for every cash balance as of Dec. 31.

"You can't compare percentages to percentages from this year to last year, because it's not the same because of how the money was spent," Dorathy said of the financial report. "I think we are through the tough times."

In August, Dorathy found the 2005-2006 budget was overspent by $300,000. The school board then approved a bond against the Capital Outlay for $386,000 that helped get the district through tight financial times.

Since the hard times at the district seem to be over, the school board began discussing Capital Outlay projects and how much money it has in the budget.

Dorathy presented the board with a list of prioritized items that can be paid for by the Capital Outlay fund.

"I met with numerous district personnel about what needs to be done and what those priorities are," Dorathy said.

The list included asphalt work at Marion Springs Elementary School, Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center and Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center that would total approximately $25,000.

Monday's list also included purchasing a 2002 school bus ($40,000), school project money for each building ($6,000), technology updates ($30,000) and fixing the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system at Vinland Elementary School ($40,000).

Another section of the budget had generic maintenance projects, such as fixing faucets, drinking fountains, painting and door hardware.

"There are a lot of maintenance tasks, like doors and bathroom work, that need done," Dorathy said. "We will also get some painting done in some buildings. A lot of these are nagging issues that need to be taken care of."

Dorathy also put several items together in the equipment section of the list. Those included a dishwasher, convection oven, two-burner range, ice machines, security systems, furniture and three welders for the Baldwin High School shop. Those added up to $114,150.

"I just want to remind everyone that these costs are just estimates," Dorathy said. "None of these are actual costs, so the prices may change."

The final piece of the budget was a carry over of $300,650 for leases and a contingency carry over of $45,000.

"We need $300,000 for leases next year and I left $45,000 out for a contingency fund," Dorathy said. "The only place you can have contingency is in the Capital Outlay fund."

Board Member Scott Lauridsen thought the list looked similar to the one the board approved last year.

"It's very much in line with what we had last year," Lauridsen said. "I am OK with what you have proposed."

Dorathy said some of the projects will be completed this year, but many others will have to wait until next year because of the tight budget.

"Some of these things will be done in January when we get new money," Dorathy said. "I know they are for this year's budget, but we can only spend what money we have."

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