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School budget? Same amount of funds, different year

Staff writer

Complicated budget practices were put into a clearer perspective Monday during a budget hearing of Peabody-Burns Board of Education. Superintendent Ron Traxson explained that while spending increased for the budget there was actually the same amount of money to spend.

“The budget is built for more than we’ll spend, to give us the spending power if needed in the future,” he said.

Traxson said an option for increasing funds was increasing the local option budget from 30 to 33 percent, which would increase funding by $82,000. Such an increase would require approval of voters or the public through a vote by mail-in ballot.

He estimated enrollment to be about the same as the previous year, so funding should remain the same unless cut by the state, Traxson said.

Track

In an effort to save money, Peabody-Burns is removing the track surface without a contractor. Doing it themselves has shaved $10,000 off the total price to repair cracks in the base of the track and resurfacing. The total project will cost around $105,000, but efforts to remove the current surface are proving to be more difficult than anticipated.

Traxson is worried about the skid steer cracking the surface more in attempts to remove the surface. More than half of the surface has been removed. Attempting to remove the surface has caused some slight damage.

“I don’t want to damage the surface beyond what we can repair,” he said. “If we damage it to where the company can’t fix it, then we’re having to replace the base, and that’s around $400,000 to $500,000.”

To prevent possible damage, the board allowed Traxson to receive a bid from Pro Track up to $10,000 for them to remove the remaining track. Work on the track will begin Sept. 1 and be completed within the month.

Coaching positions

After 45 minutes in executive session, the board approved coaches for the school year and the resignation of middle school English teacher Annette Weems. Weems, who has been with the district for 18 years, resigned suddenly, leaving administrators scrambling to find a replacement before classes start Aug. 20.

Middle school principal Ken Parry told the board he hopes to have someone hired to fill the position this week.

In other business:

  • The board approved a classified staff handbook. The only change was that classified staff can be compensated $10 for sick days not used up to a week’s worth.
  • Staff picnic will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 18 in the elementary school multi-purpose room.
  • A 1991 52-passenger school bus will be auctioned off Sept. 9. The bus is the oldest of the fleet and is not used regularly.

Last modified Aug. 13, 2014

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