Archive for Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Baldwin board approves 2012-2013 budget

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education

August 21, 2012

The Baldwin school board unanimously approved Monday the district’s 2012-2013 budget after shaving a mill of support from the capital outlay fund.

The $31.76 million 2012-2013 budget will require an estimated mill levy of 68.878 mills. That compared to an overall mill levy of 68.833 for 2011-2012.

With the budget’s approval, the amount of taxes owed the school district in the next year on a home with an appraised value of $200,000 house will be $1,537.

The budget the board approved for publication last month had 8 mills of support for a $860,000 capital outlay fund. But district financial manager Cynde Frick said at that time the board could reduce that amount before giving final approval to the 2012-2013 budget.

The board chose to do that, expressing a desire not to increase the burden on local taxpayers. They also noted the $200,000 the district received from the sale of the old elementary school on Chapel Street was included in the 2012-2013 capital outlay fund.

In June, when Frick first shared a draft capital outlay budget with the board, it proposed that a $70,000 repaving of the bus barn parking lot be delayed should the board opt to fund capital outlay at 7 mills. At 6 mills, it was suggested high school locker replacement, tree removal at Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center and purchase of a new maintenance truck be put off and carpet replacement cut back.

The board wasn’t eager to postpone any of those projects. Patrons have concerns about taxes but also complain about projects not getting done, said Superintendent Paul Dorathy.

“The thing I want the public to understand is you can’t have both things,” he said. “They want taxes to stay down, but we have so many projects that need done in the district.”

Reluctant to cross off projects, the board chose instead to reduce the proposed $277,000 budget carryover for 2013-2014 by $70,000 or one mill. The district was attempting to build the carryover, but board members noted it was three times what the district has budgeted in recent lean years.

State aid will be less than that in the approved budget. The budget assumed the district’s full-time equivalent enrollment to be 1,330. Dorathy said it was a practice to estimate that number high so the district wouldn’t have to republish the budget should enrollment exceed expectations.

It appears, however, that the district will be just shy of its FTE enrollment of 1,321 for 2011-2012. Dorathy said the dip was mostly because this year’s first-grade class of 82 students was considerably smaller than last year’s 108-member senior class.

The enrollment decline’s consequences on the budget will be limited, however, because the state allows districts with declining enrollment to use the previous year’s enrollment numbers for budget purposes.

Also approved with the district’s budget was the $404,000 Baldwin City Recreation Commission’s 2013 fiscal year budget. Although that budget is established by the BCRC board, it is added to the district budget as part of its taxing authority.

The BCRC once again has an overall mill levy of 5 mills.

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