Despite a drop in enrollment, Medora Community School Corp. officials are considering a 2016 budget that would be 3.8 percent higher than the present one.
The 2016 budget is $2,829,459, which is up from the 2015 approved budget of $2,744,848.
Most of the $84,611 increase, if approved by the state in the fall, would be used to help buy a bus in two years and to pay for painting the gymnasium.
Superintendent Roger Bane said during a budget workshop Thursday that he has to present the proposed budget to the Jackson County Council for review by Tuesday. A public hearing will be Sept. 21, and the budget will be up for approval at the Oct. 12 regular school board meeting. Both meetings will be at 6 p.m. in the school library.
The state will review the budget during hearings in the fall, and it likely will be reduced when updated information about assessed valuation becomes available.
As of Thursday, the corporation’s student count was 217. In February, the number stood at 235½. One difference in the count this school year is kindergartners are now counted as whole instead of half, Bane said.
The proposed general fund would increase from $1,866,253 to $1,874,157.
Another fund that increased in the budget is capital projects, which went from $267,220 this year to $277,556 for 2016. Bane said he put some extra dollars in for next year to be able to paint the gymnasium.
Also increasing was debt service, going from $425,000 to $451,671. Bane said when a refinance was performed, the Qualified Zone Academy Bond was not included.
A QZAB is a low-interest or interest-free loan for public schools with 35 percent or more of the student body eligible for free or reduced-price lunch programs. Funds can be used for renovation and rehabilitation projects or equipment purchases.
At Medora, the loan was used for energy-saving air conditioning and lighting installation.
“That was wrapped into another bond issue we had that, when we refinanced, they didn’t keep it wrapped in, so we have to start making that payment separately,” Bane said. “We just pay the principal back.”
The bus replacement fund saw the biggest jump, going from $46,785 to $85,000. Bane said the corporation’s pension debt comes off of one of the other funds 100 percent, and this time around for Medora, it’s the bus replacement fund. The 2016 pension debt is $34,775.
Bane said the hope is to be able to replace a bus in 2017. A new school bus costs around $100,000.
One of the corporation’s buses is 12 years old, but the school has only had it for 11 years, so it would still have another year left until it would have to be replaced, Bane said.
The transportation fund, which is used to pay bus drivers and to repair and maintain buses, went from $105,000 this year to $106,300 for 2016.
What: Medora Community School Corp. Board of Trustees meeting
Where: School library, 82 S. George St.
When: 6 p.m. Oct. 12
On the agenda: 2016 school budget up for approval