AD1 School Board approves bond issue, hears budget update

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The Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved a resolution certifying the recent Bond Referendum and authorizing the sale of the $109 million bond for a new building program. They also heard a budget update based on the most recent Senate version of the state budget.
The resolution certifying the results of the referendum will be filed at the courthouse and allow sale of the bonds.
Bond Attorney Frannie Heizer said,  “I know you are excited to get started on these projects and that is what the resolution will do.”
Financial Advisor Mike Gallagher said the market is very good and the District may be able to issue all of the bonds at once rather than breaking it into two. He said the cash flow schedule will be made available by Harper Construction on Wednesday and that they plan to make purchases up front to save money on the projects.
“You have been upfront and very transparent,” Gallagher said. “Thank you for having no issues.”
The board also approved personnel recommendations (see separate story) with a 4-1 vote. Board member Wendy Burgess voted said she voted against the recommendations because “I feel we have added a position before finalizing the budget. I am not comfortable voting in favor until we have a budget.”
A budget worksession followed the called meeting.
Superintendent Robbie Binnicker explained several changes in the draft budget and offered options for the Board to consider to balance the proposed $78.6 million budget.
The estimated budget includes revenues of $78,614,913 with expected funding increases of $4,553,182. Included are a fringe increase of $636,233, student growth based on weighted pupil unit of 135 at $274,307 and transfers of food service indirect costs amounting to $100,000.
A list of expenses including growth positions, raises and retirement increases results in expense increase of $5,300,219 with current expenses of $80,372,490, resulting in a $747,037 budget deficit.
Binnicker presented deductions from the draft budget including adjustments to seven accounts: Those included floor cleaning; Master Teacher Class to be paid from special revenue fund; reduction of administrative raises from 4% to 2%; moving a reading coach salary to special revenue fund; reduction in the technology budget; salaries to federal programs (Medicaid/IDEA), growth positions to state special revenue funds and HVAC cuts.
With those adjustments, Binnicker offered four options for the Board to consider to balance the budget.
One is to reduce teacher salary increases to the state minimum, which Binnicker said he would not recommend.
Other options include a tax increase of the full CPI & Growth millage allowed, 6.4 mills or half of that at 3.2 mills, or to use funds available in the reserve fund balance. All of the options had considerable discussion and no decision was made during the work session.
A public hearing and vote on the budget will be held at the May 28 Board meeting.