Broken Bow School Board Budget Hearing September 11, 2017

Broken Bow School Board Budget Hearing September 11, 2017
Broken Bow School Board met for budget hearing on Monday night

BROKEN BOW — Monday night’s budget hearing was full of more tense moments in the ongoing discussion of the Broken Bow Public Schools’ 2017-2018 budget. To start things off, CPA Dan Zach with Dana Cole explained the limits for the levy, expenditures, and the cash reserve.

“The first budget limit is the levy limit, and that’s the amount of tax request, or the amount of income that they can have come in,” Zach said.

According to the handouts, property valuations have increased 5.2%, coming to $982,677,679. After the bond fund levy, voluntary termination payments, and the county treasurer fee of 1% on exclusions, the total levy and tax request has come to 0.897114 or $8,815,734.

For the 2017-2018 school year, the expected revenue comes to $10.79 million, with $10.99 million in expected expenses. To make up that $200,000 difference, the money will be coming from the cash reserve, with an ending cash balance of $3,055,312 by August 31 of 2018.

According to Zach, the estimated cash reserve is close to the allowable limit, but should remain below that limit due to the $200,000 going toward expenses. Tom Osmond stated he was pleased that the cash reserves have increased over the last three years, but it has been discussed that this is primarily because the administration had to tighten their belts in terms of professional development and staff salary increases this past year.

A woman in the crowd asked, “Are you also considering that we cut all overtime? We didn’t give classified staff raises, is that considered in there? Are we going to expect our classified staff to go without raises next year?”

Zach agreed that there is an increased cash balance because of a tightened budget and according to him, expenditures between this year and last have been cut by about $400,000.

Business Manager Heather Nichols and board member J.B. Atkins continued a debate regarding expenses to the general fund, transfer funds, and overall expenses.

A few community members voiced their opinions of how these budget decisions have come about.

“I don’t think you can blame the administration, I don’t think you can blame the board. I think that if you go back and look, it was the board – the administration set a proposal – the board went through it and they kind of told the admin where you want to go, this is what we want you do to,” a woman stated.

Another woman from the crowd stated she was proud of the adjustments and reflected that everyone in the community has made adjustments and everyone knows it is not going to be easy.

A special meeting took place after the budget hearing with the purpose of setting a recall election date. A motion was made to set the election for November 7 but it did not pass. No date was set, but the discussion circled around either November 7 or November 14. The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m.., the board will vote on the budget and levy at that time.