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Red Wing School Board briefs

School's transportation costs to decrease

Red Wing School Board on Monday accepted a renewed contract with First Student Inc. to provide busing and transportation services for the next two school years. Because the district agreed not to bid out to other transportation services, First Student agreed to reduce rates to those of the 2009-2010 levels.

Camera boxes that fit the district's cameras will still be provided by First Student. This piece was negotiated in previous contracts.

The new contract still calls for a fuel accelerator piece, where the district is responsible for the fuel used.

Fund balance gets new classifications

The School Board approved new classifications for money in the district's fund balance. The changes are the result of new government accounting standards.

Before, the fund balance had two classifications: reserved (money that state statutes restrict how it can be spent) and unreserved.

The new requirements mean the reserved money will now be called restricted and unreserved will be called unassigned. Two new classifications - committed and assignment - also have been added. These new classifications allow the board to set money aside for projects - for example, replacing a roof or refinishing a parking lot, Director of Finance Brad Johnson said.

"It brings some more clarity to how we handle fund balance," he said. "Being able to have the board designate funds is a good thing."

Because the district's five-year referendum provides a larger fund balance in the beginning years that will eventually be used to fund the last years of the referendum, the district's current positive fund balance isn't a surplus. The new classifications will help to designate money to reflect how it will be spent in the coming years, Johnson said in a memo to the board.

Pottery Convention lease approved

The Red Wing Pottery Convention, sponsored by the Collector's Association, will continue to be held at Red Wing High School. The School Board approved a new lease through 2016 for the annual July event.

The new lease asks the association for less rent than in past years. This is due to declining attendance at past conventions. In a memo to the board, Director of Finance Brad Johnson said that the reduced rent would cover the district's costs.

"The Pottery Convention is huge. It's what a public facility needs to be used for," board Treasurer Paul Kramp said.

The Collector's Association has had two previous five-year leases with the school district. Its current lease is up at the end of this year.

Meeting watch

Monday's board meeting lasted two hours. All board members were present.

- compiled by Sarah Gorvin, staff writer