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Annual school meeting approves $9 million budget at Glenwood City

GLENWOOD CITY— At the annual school district meeting and budget hearing Monday evening, September 14, electors accepted a district proposed budget spending of $9,233,254.00.

The new budget is some $200,000 less than the 2014-2015 school year budget, and almost three-quarters of a million dollars less than the 2013-2014 school year budget.

In order to support that budget, local taxpayers will have to come up with $2,124,834.00, which is some 2.46 percent less than the previous year.

During the budget hearing, school Superintendent Tim Johnson explained the budget to those attending the annual meeting in the high school library.

Johnson made a point to explain that the district has a fund balance of over one and half million dollars. He said that a number of years ago the fund balance was less than a half million. “The board made the discussion to increase the fund balance. Having a large fund balance allows the district to operate without having to do short term borrowing,” Johnson said.

Johnson also explained the state funding of schools and spoke at length about how the number of students are counted for aid purposes. He noted that the school district has 739 children of school age in the district. But, he informed the annual meeting that the district has 45 students coming into the district under the open enrollment policy. The district receives over $300,000 to cover the cost of those students. But, Johnson said, “it cost us over a half million dollars for the 80 students that are enrolled out of the district.”

Johnson also touched on savings that they have pushed forward, including changing property insurance carriers.

In addition to supporting the budget, the school also has a $10.4 million dollar debt, which requires an annual payment of $578,150, plus an additional $20,000 for the community Service Fund.

During the annual meeting, Johnson and his staff explained the district goals and the building improvements that are in the works, and he noted, “It’s going to be an exciting year.”

The annual meeting approved raising the school board members pay to $2,100 annually for board officers and $1,800 for members and also set a new price for meals at school. They also approved $50.00 for board members participating in any special board or committee meetings beyond the regular monthly board or committee meetings.

They also approved supporting board members on official district business for actual travel expense including room and board and $40.00 a day when traveling away from the district.

The annual meeting also gave the board the power to defend or prosecute any action in which the district is involved.