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Budget, annual meet previewed for board

Ellsworth School Board members discussed the 2009-10 district budget at Monday's meeting.

Supt. Barry Cain told board members to expect $16,748,140 in total revenue and $17,444,254 in total expenditures for 2009-10.

Cain said the difference of $696,114 includes spending on the middle and high school roofs, a decrease of approximately $336,000 in state aid to the district, a state aid general decrease, a 4.2 percent compensation package locally and a bus purchase.

The ending fund balance in the proposed budget is at $2,325,300. He said the school will be dipping into that fund balance by nearly $700,000, a practice officials don't want to continue in the future, but a product of difficult economic times.

The total school levy in the budget proposal for the coming year is $7,716,884, an increase of 0.46 percent over last year.

The mill rate is projected at 8.36 (taxation per $1,000 of valuation), an increase of 0.48 percent over the past year's rate. Despite the financial challenges the district faces, the forecast mill rate would still be the lowest among schools in the county and lower than many in the area, Cain said.

The next budget won't be finalized until after official third-Friday-in-September enrollment figures are known and state input is received in October.

The annual meeting at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24 in the high school cafetorium will address minutes from the previous year's meeting, an auditor's letter and four resolutions.

The possible purchase of specific property by the district is a new resolution, Cain said. If approved, it would allow for negotiating to buy a five-acre parcel at N4940 710th Street, just south of the middle school, a section presently surrounded by district-owned land.

The other resolutions regard: fixing board members' salaries, the potential sale of property such as Sunnyside Elementary School and up to three buses, and setting the tax levy for the 2009-10 year.

The board approved the annual meeting information.

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