Iola-Scandinavia to set aside $200,000
By Holly Neumann
During a special meeting of the Iola-Scandinavia School Board on July 27, Business Manager Sarah Thiel announced that the budget surplus for the district was much higher than anticipated.
“We are here today, because today was the second day of our 2016-17 audit, to see where we were going to end the year at,” said Thiel. “We had a $66,000 budget surplus projected, but after taking a look at everything, we are actually potentially going to have a $273,000 budget surplus.”
Thiel made the recommendation that they take $200,000 of that money and move it into Fund 46, a long-term capital improvement trust fund.
Funds would have to remain in the account until five years after creation and could only be used on things specifically identified in the districts long term capital improvement plans.
“If you are going to use funds from Fund 46, the Department of Public Instruction wants to see what your long range plan looks like,” said Thiel. “And they are going to make sure that the dollars are going to be used on things that are in that plan that has been communicated with them.”
Long Range maintenance plans can be updated and changed at any time, it does however have to be submitted to the state.
“So, we can continue to update and make changes,” she said. “When we originally put that plan in place, we were not expecting referendum money, so there is probably several things on that list that will be addressed through the capital projects, which were approved for the referendum. We will have to take a look at it.”
Board President Kristen Hoyord questioned whether or not the district facilities, such as the track, baseball field and the gym were on the current plan.
Thiel indicated that they were currently not.
“Those are the things we are going to want to look to add,” Hoyord said.
There was some question as to how this would impact the district 2017-18 school year.
“We would be getting $1,500 less in state aid, if we put this money aside, verses not,” Thiel said, referencing sheltering the money in Fund 46.
She noted that she and District Administrator Ray Przekurat talked and that they are both in agreement that it makes sense to do this.
“It helps us on the shared cost side, to be able to spend our full budget allowance” she said. “It also helps with long term projects down the road.”
The board voted unanimously approve the transfer of $200,000 from the general fund, into Fund 46, with the remaining $73,000 going into fund balance.
In other business, Thiel also recommended that the board look to assign some of the fund balance dollars for some of the projects that have been specifically talked about.
“We are going to need to replace our Chrome Books for the middle and high school for one to one technology,” she said. “Rather than getting to that point and have to borrow money, we want to assign $100,000 for Chrome Books, to be used in the future when we need to purchase them.”
Theil said $150,000 would also be assigned for safety and security.
“Ray and I talked today,” said Thiel. “As of today, I don’t know what that would all be, so we would need to have some conversations and develop some priorities. Things like camera systems, buzzer systems at the door potentially, film on the windows and things like that.
Coming up with our safety plan and having the dollars to address some of those needs.”
Assigning these items would still keep the fund balance within the targeted percentage range.
The board unanimously approved the motion, to designate the $250,000 from the fund balance for these projects.