Finance director proposes $26 million budget

Published 10:23 am Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Officials with the Lincoln County School District don’t anticipate an increase in ad valorem taxes for residents to help fund the 2016-17 school year.

Finance Director Cheryl Shelby presented the proposed 2017 budget to the Lincoln County School Board Monday during a public hearing.

Edgar P. Jacks was the lone member of the public who attended the meeting.

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Total proposed revenue for the district is $26 million, with total proposed expenditures at $28.7. While that looks like a deficit, Shelby explained the district’s fund balance will take care of the overage.

“Expenditures are exceeding the revenue, but we don’t have a deficit because the fund balance of $32 million,” Shelby said. “It’s OK to spend more than you’re taking in when you’ve got $32 million available.”

She warned the board not to use the fund balance for returning expenses, but that it can be used to fund one-time purchases.

Shelby expects $3.8 million of the revenue to come from ad valorem taxes, which is $3,000 more than in 2016.

“We’re not asking for anything, and why we did that is that is because we’ve got a really healthy fund balance,” Shelby said. “We felt like it was prudent to make sure that the taxpayers of Lincoln County schools didn’t bear the brunt of an unnecessary millage increase.”

Some revenue in the district comes from tuition by out-of-district students, who each pay $600 a year to attend school within the district.

The revenue from tuition amounts to about $57,250, which is equivalent to a teacher’s salary.

One expense in the coming year will be the purchase in July of four school buses and surveillance equipment for the buses. That’s about $500,000, Shelby said..

About 81 percent of the district’s expenditures are salaries and benefits, which is inline with other districts.

“Ours is actually a lot lower than a lot of districts,” she said. “We get a lot of bang for our buck.”

No action was taken on the budget at Monday’s meeting.

A special called meeting has been set for June 29 at 5 p.m. for the board to vote on the budget.

Lincoln County School District Superintendent Mickey Myers said he was pleased with the budget proposal.

“From a superintendent’s position, this looks good,” he said. “We want to continue that. We want to spend dollars wisely.”

In other business following the budget hearing, school board members voted to approve the consent agenda, which included approvals of the following recommendations:

• Melanie Crosby as dance coach for Bogue Chitto Attendance Center

• Celia Christy Johnson as elementary teacher at Bogue Chitto Attendance Center

• Christy Terrell as cross country coach at Bogue Chitto Attendance Center

• Angele Bartholomew as dance coach at at Enterprise Attendance Center

• Jon Goldman at high school mathematics teacher and tennis coach at Enterprise Attendance Center

• Sam Stewart as director of finance.

• Holly Luther as an assistant at Loyd Star