Costs on the rise, income declines

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The South-Western City School District was supposed to get an increase in state aid but Treasurer Hugh Garside said that is not the case.

At the May 12 meeting, the board of education approved the district’s five-year forecast. Districts are required to submit the forecast twice a year. They approved the initial one in October and they revisit it in May.

Garside said the forecast is the same as was projected in October.

“The good news and the bad news is that the variances aren’t more than 5 percent,” Garside noted.

In fiscal year 2007, the state gave the district approximately $80.8 million in unrestricted grants. Garside explained that the state was supposed to increase that amount by $12 million. However, the grants coming in for 2008 have decreased to a projected $79.5 million.

In 2008, the district expects to bring in about $67.2 million from the general property tax and $14.8 million in the tangible personal property tax. By 2011, the district will receive nothing in the tangible personal property tax.

“It will be gone,” said Garside. “We will lose that tax base all together.”

The district also expects to pay more for fuel in 2008.

“Gas prices have gone up significantly and that causes some issues in the budget,” said Garside.

He explained that the district has locked in on “good rates” for natural gas but diesel fuel is another matter. He said they were conservative in budgeting for fuel so he thinks there will be enough funds.

For 2008, total revenue is estimated at $188 million. The expenditures are approximately $185 million.

In other news:

•The board awarded a contract to Neibert Enterprises for partial roof replacement at Prairie Lincoln, J.C. Sommer, Richard Avenue and Alton Hall Elementary Schools. The project is expected to cost $281,420.

•A contract was awarded to M&D Blacktop in the amount of $268,000 for asphalt repairs at Franklin Heights and Grove City high schools and the transportation building.

•Ronald Meyer was granted a two-year contract as principal at Franklin Heights High School effective July 21.

He has been the assistant principal at Central Crossing since the school opened. Prior to that, he worked at Franklin Heights.

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