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CCA hears fine points of funding

TIFFIN— Projected budgetary amounts and projects funded through School Improvement Local Option (SILO) taxes and the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) were approved by the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) board of directors at their April meeting. Board secretary and district director of finance Lori Robertson walked the board through the SILO and PPEL budgets for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-13 during the April 18 work session, prior to the regular monthly meeting.
The new fiscal year begins July 1.
Robertson emphasized the budget amounts are based on projections at this time. Changes made by the state legislature and in actual sales tax revenue, coupled with the final remaining balance for FY 2011-2012 (which will be carried over to the new fiscal year) all factor into the amount available. The district anticipates carrying over $1,765,569 from the previous year. SILO revenue from Iowa County is projected at $261,229 and $1,002,394 from Johnson. Adding SILO revenue with the previous balance provides the district with an estimated $3,029,192.
However, debt payments take up $1,009,156, and planned roof maintenance expenditures of $212,500 bring the fund balance back to $1,807,536. As the district is required to maintain a SILO reserve account, $557,036 is the actual projected amount available for other eligible expenditures.
The PPEL budget is projected to carry-over $184,272 from FY 2011-2012 and take in $927,224 in revenue. PPEL is funded through a .33 property tax charge, a voter-approved property tax levy, and a voter-approved income surtax of 3 percent. Revenue plus the carry-over gives the district $1,111,496. Anticipated expenditures of $1,004,000 leave an anticipated balance of $107,496 to carry into FY2013-14.
PPEL dollars are authorized to be used in four categories only: transportation, site improvement, buildings and equipment and technology. Major allocations are subject to board approval while lesser amounts are not.
Robertson reported the transportation budget through PPEL is projected at $248,000, which includes two new school buses at approximately $88,000 each, continuing a district policy of purchasing two buses each year. Other district vehicles such as pickup trucks and district equipment such as a proposed skid loader also fall under the transportation category.
Robinson said $200,000 is allocated for site improvement, which included: landscaping, asphalt work, concrete work, playgrounds, PE and athletic fields, and general improvement efforts. Some examples of projects for the new fiscal year include: $30,000 for parking lot and circle drive resurfacing at Amana and $5,000 each for the playgrounds at Amana, North Bend and Oxford.
Maury Gallagher, the district’s building and grounds director, meets with the principal and building engineer of each facility to determine needs for the upcoming year. Gallagher said his first priority is the needs of the kids. His second priority is toward systems and equipment based on age and cost. Gallagher added he also meets with athletic director Kurt Ronnfeldt and the coaches for their input. Ultimately, he said, projects are based on need.
Other allocations included $300,000 for building improvements with $150,000 held back for emergency boiler, electrical and plumbing repairs; $100,000 toward interior improvements such as flooring, paint and bleachers for the middle school ($20,000); and $50,000 for exterior projects (doors, windows, gutters).
Under technology and equipment, $256,000 is allocated into maintenance equipment ($10,000), $110,000 for technology, $20,000 for the district’s copiers and $15,000 for band instruments. Delving a little deeper, the technology amount pays $65,000 to Apple for on-going leases of laptop computers for faculty, staff and students, and has $36,000 set-aside to be divided among the buildings based on a factor of $20 per student.
The budgets were approved unanimously.