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Stimulus funds to pay for projects

By Staff | May 13, 2009

Rugby School Board received a preliminary look at the 2009-10 budget last week, and one familiar expenditure was left out – capital improvements.

However, there is a good reason for that, explained Jeff Lind, school superintendent.

The district is expecting $508,000 in federal stimulus funds which must be used for one-time expenditures, namely building improvements and equipment purchases.

As a result, the capital improvements that normally are worked into the budget’s general fund have been removed, and stimulus funds will cover those projects.

Lind went over the projected state revenue the district will receive over the next two years. A little over $2 million in state aid will come next term, and the district will also receive a one-time $99,628 operations grant and an equity payment of roughly $72,000. Also, transportation revenue is also increasing.

The proposed 2009-10 total revenues is $5,042,198 while expenditures are $5,089,415, leaving an anticipated deficit of about $47,000.

“That’s not what I consider an alarming deficit,” Lind told board members on May 12.

The increase in expenditures is attributed to salaries, which makes up about two-thirds of the district’s total expenses, Lind said.

Property taxpayers will notice a 75-mill deduction for the local school district. The mill levy went from 185 to 110, equating to about $835,000. The influx in state funding toward education is behind the property tax relief.

The district’s 2010-11 planned budget is tentatively planning a slight increase in state revenue, and also won’t include capital improvements. However, Lind stressed it’s difficult to gauge how precise those revenue and expenditures figures will be two years out.

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