Barrow BOE tentatively OK’s $102.1 million budget
Deficit estimated at $4 million
BY KRISTI REED
The Barrow County Board of Education has given preliminary approval to the proposed $102.1 million fiscal year 2009 budget.
With projected revenues of $98 million, the school system will end the year with a $4 million deficit.
The most current projections show Barrow County Schools ending the 2008 fiscal year with reserves of approximately $7 million. The school system will dip into these reserves to cover the projected 2009 deficit, leaving $3 million in reserves at the end of the next fiscal year.
In a 5-1 vote, the board authorized the advertisement of the new budget. District 5 representative Lynn Stevens was the sole dissenting vote.
Stevens said that while she was pleased with certain aspects of the budget, such as the addition of six new school nurse positions, she has reservations about other aspects of the proposed budget.
“It’s my feeling that we should have funded an assistant superintendent position for strategic initiatives to continue moving forward with the very positive things that are happening in this county,” she said. “I also have concerns about fuel costs and other things we may have not adequately prepared for this year.”
Stevens said the county also has issues with growth and is not able to fund it as quickly as needed.
“I can live with [the budget], but I’m not happy with it,” she said.
The final vote on the proposed budget will be held June 24.
In other business, the board:
•heard a financial report from assistant superintendent of business services Ken Cato. Cato reported that May SPLOST receipts were up slightly from the previous month resulting in $753,400 in income. The total SPLOST funds received to date are approximately $52,000 less than at this time last year.
•received an update on the capital building program from assistant superintendent of facilities Jake Grant. Grant reported that construction at both high schools was essentially complete. The capital building program has resulted in the addition of 320 classrooms in the past seven years. The increased building capacity will reduce the number of portable classrooms used by the school system from over 100 to just 28 for the 2008-2009 school year.
•approved a new textbook for the business essential course.
•accepted a bid of $11,400 from ABC printing to provide 15,000 calendars for the school system.
•accepted a bid from Mayfield Dairies to provide milk and other dairy products to the school system during the 2008-2009 school year.
•accepted a bid from Colonial Bread to provide bread for the upcoming school year.
•selected The Peoples Bank as the banking service provider for the Barrow County School District.
placed the Perkins IV local plan and the credit transfer policy on the table for the next thirty days.