BELDING — With the final days of school finally coming to a close for students this week, the Belding Area Schools Board of Education finalized the fourth and final amendment to the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget.
In a unanimous vote, with board member Scott McNeal absent, the board approved the budget Monday evening with a few alterations resulting in a slightly higher ending fund balance.
According to Finance Director Adrianna Barna, total revenues for the district were adjusted by an increase in $77,671 due to increased fund transfers from the Ionia County Intermediate School District (ICISD) combined with reduced state revenue funding.
Barna said expenditures were also decreased by $61,998 due to a reduction in contingency budgets that were not fully expended.
The result was a total decrease of $139,669 in the operating deficit, resulting in a deficit of $514,995.
The ending fund balance as of June 30 will be healthy at $2,298,211.
After the completion of a public hearing, the board also voted unanimously to adopt an appropriations budget for the 2014-2015 school school.
According to Superintendent Sara Shriver, although the foundation allowance and student enrollment are unknown, by law, the school district cannot legally receive or expend funds after June 30 without formally adopting a budget prior to that time.
During the public hearing Barna informed the board that the district is projecting $17,181,379 in revenues as well as $17,856,105 in expenditures, resulting in a projected deficit budget with $674,726 in revenues over expenditures with an ending fund balance of $1,623,486.
According to Barna, the loss in revenue is mostly accredited to a projected loss of student enrollment for the upcoming school year.
“Revenue decreased by approximately $340,000 due to a projected decrease of enrollment of 50.5 students,” she said.
However, Barna said the next budget adjustment will include an increase in revenue of approximately $122,000 due to an increase in foundation allowance of $12 per student.
“Information was late coming out of Lansing on per pupil funding, so that increase won’t be reflected until the next budget amendment,” she said.
Board member Terry Boni said he was appreciative of all of the work put it by Barna and the finance committee to both finalize the 2013-2014 budget as well as project the 2014-2015 budget by the deadline of June 30.
“We went into these budgets with great detail,” he said. “Everyone did a great job, with this year’s and next year’s (budgets).”
The board also voted unanimously to hire a new facilities director.
According to Shriver, Dan Feuerstein will become the new director after a team of administrators, department staff and a board member interviewed four candidates from a pool of 18 for the position on June 6.
“We had some good candidates, but we had one great candidate,” Shriver said. “We are very pleased to hire our very own Dan Feuerstein.”
Feuerstein began working for the facilities department in 1995 and is an alumnus of Belding High School.
“He possesses a vast amount of knowledge about the district and the facilities department, Shriver said. “He holds relevant certifications and comes highly recommended.”
In other matters …
The Belding school board:
• Voted unanimously to approve a 2014 tax levy. The taxable values have increased approximately 3.02 percent while non-homestead taxable values increased 2.82 percent. The district will levy 18 mills on non-homestead and 7.18 mills on debt.
• Voted unanimously to approve the Michigan Financial Authority resolution for state aid borrowing in the amount of $1.9 million.
• Voted unanimously to adopt the membership resolution with the MHSAA for its junior high/middle and senior high schools.
• Voted unanimously to approve the 2014-2014 District School Improvement Plan.
• Voted unanimously to approve administrative contracts for the 2014-2015 school year.
• Voted unanimously to approve handbook changes to the Administrative Handbook effective July 1.
• Voted unanimously to approve changes to the transportation, athletic, elementary and pre-K student handbooks.