Tuesday, March 12, 2013
School Board members present: Emily Goyette, Kari Bradley
Administration present: Keith Gerritt, principal; Stephanie Taylor, assistant principal; Lori Bibeau, WCSU business manager; Jeff Arey, WCSU technology director
Meeting convened at 8:00 am.
Other Business: Lori Bibeau reported that a SU-wide bid had gone out for new copiers. U-32 needs three: one in the main office, one in the middle school office, and one in the copy center. Jeff advised that their choice is to go with Xerox machines. If purchased outright, the three machines will cost $88K and include the first year’s maintenance contract. The question was raised how to finance the copiers. They are not included in the budgeted capital expenditures for next year, however $33 K lease costs are included in the FY 2014 operating budget. Jeff Arey reported that a four-year lease would run $94K and a lease-to-own option would be $97.6 K. It was decided to go with the standard lease in view of the fact that copying needs and copier technology may change significantly in three years.
Role of the Finance Committee: Lori Bibeau reported that the committee was started in December 1997, around the time that Robbe Brooke became superintendent. She described its role as reviewing bids, administration requests, and the monthly financial report that tracks operational expense vs. projection. She described the NEMRC software system used and the funds that are set up to track revenue and expenses. She noted that the voters in our district have approved keeping a fund balance. In some towns, districts are required to return a fund balance to the taxpayers and conversely raise taxes when needed. She advised that our auditors had recommended that we keep a 5% reserve but that the board had changed that to 4%. She described the effect of using fund balance money last year to reduce the cost to taxpayers, i.e., it will increase the budget next year. Kari Bradley noted that it would behoove us to communicate the fact that taxes will be going up next year early on.
Monthly Financial Report: The report was accepted. Revenues increased by $19K: E-rate $3.5K, net metering $7K, and miscellaneous gate receipts $8.5K. With respect to net metering, we have now collected $3,500, but the projection for FY 2013 is $7K and has been booked. We saw increased expense of $6K for the Alternative Path to Graduation program but savings of $6K in property insurance and $17K in transportation expense (for having to use our old buses last fall) for a net savings of $17,111. Fund balance is currently running at $89,704 above the board’s minimum 4% reserve.
Roof Project Update: Bids will be opened at 10:00 am on April 2nd at U-32. Emily Goyette will attend.
More Other Business: Tim Flynn would like to apply for two grants, one from the Nellie Mae Foundation and one from the Bay & Paul Foundations, to fund a 0.5 FTE position for a coordinator for students going out into the community and requiring mentoring. They would include students in the Branching Out, Branching Out English, Pilot, and CBL high school programs, and middle school Branching Out as well. There are approximately 60 students who would benefit from this service. The Bay & Paul Foundations grant had a March 1st application deadline but Tim Flynn asked for an extension. The Nellie Mae Foundation application is due in April. The cost of the position is estimated to be $20K, with a slight rise in cost each subsequent year. The grants would be for three years. The first year we’d receive $10K from each grant; the second year we’d receive $5K from each grant; the third year we’d receive $2K from each grant. Because of the future financial impact, Keith will need to bring the request before the board. Kari Bradley and Emily Goyette agreed that it was a reasonable request to present.
Emily requested that Keith and Lori provide a report, similar to last year’s, that lists U32’s special programs, their cost, and the number of students served. Emily also asked Keith to request the co-curricular participation numbers for the 2011-2012 school year from Amy Molina.
Next Month: Discuss food service meals pricing. Meeting time will change to 8:15 – 9:15 am through June.
Adjourned at 9:05 a.m.
Submitted by Emily Goyette