Butler County Times Gazette
  • USD 490 wraps up year-end action, looks to new year

  • Looking ahead to next year.
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  • The USD 490 Board of Education took action wrapping up the past school year, as well as looking ahead to next year.
    The meeting started with a public hearing on the republishing of the 2013-2014 budget, then the board voted on that item later in the meeting.
    The changes included expenditures in virtual funds and the board gave its approval 6-0 (BOE Member Scott Starkey was absent) of the revised budget and year-end budget transfers.
    Looking at next year, the board had given feedback on the personnel and student fiscal year 2015 handbooks and those changes were made. The board then gave their approval.
    Also for next year, the board began looking at the FY2015 budget.
    “It will be tight when we get to the end of the year,” said Norm Wilks, director of fiscal services and utilities.
    He said they will cover year-end expenditures and begin to rebuild funds for the next year.
    The board was asked to start thinking about the budget issues and choices to be made at the June 30 meeting regarding facilities, capital outlay and what to do with the old middle school.
    One thing they had to consider was the legislature changed the capital outlay budget this year. The new law lets them levy that mill continuously so they do not have to revisit it every five years. They also can go up to 8 mills, while it currently is limited at 5 and USD 490 has levied 4 mills.
    Wilks also asked them to think about the fact the legal maximum for the general fund will be down slightly based on enrollment. With the same enrollment next year, the general fund will be down another $87,000.
    They do still have a contingency reserve fund of about $1.4 million. Wilks said each year they talk about the fact it may be year they need to touch it, but he doesn’t think they will need to touch it at the end of this year although they are getting closer to that.
    “We will see some property tax relief because of the Local Option Budget state aid that has increased, but we are going to see a property tax increase on the bond and interest fund,” he continued. “We will end up, I think at this point, increasing our mill levy to cover bond and interest.”
    He told the board members they need to be aware with that expectation of ever-increasing values, the reality of the economy as it is today is that won’t happen and is not likely to happen unless a lot of new homes or businesses are built in USD 490.
    “That you need to think about and factor that into the discussion we have on the 30th on what we do with capital outlay, what we do with facilities and what we do with future budget planning,” Wilks said.
    Page 2 of 2 - One other item they took action on was to make final action on the non-renewal of BCSBC non-tenured, tenured and administrative personnel, which was part of the dissolving of the Butler County Special Education Cooperative as it was previously so the new cooperative can be formed.
    In other business, the board:
    • heard an update on the legislature. Wilks said they are still concerned about tax collections and the remainder the year with the state being a little over $300 million short of estimates. He also informed the board the KNEA is starting to prepare to sue the state of Kansas on their school finance decision.
    • received their self-evaluation forms which will be turned back in, compiled and reviewed at the June 30 special meeting.
    • looked at the plans for the storage building to be constructed at El Dorado Middle School. PKHLS Architects will conduct the pre-bid conference on Thursday.
    • approved personnel and BCSBC recommendations.

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