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(PANA) — Meeting on Monday night, the Pana School Board unanimously passed their Fiscal Year 2024 budget. The Board met in the Library of Pana High School to accommodate the New Teacher’s Reception which was held prior to the meeting.
According to Superintendent Jason Bauer, four of the five main funds are projected to have a surplus at the end of the fiscal year which is June 30, 2024. Only the Tort Fund will show a deficit of $67,500. Bauer explained this was due to a reduction in the tax levy for this fund.
The Education Fund, which takes care of the day-to-day operation of the school district, will show just over $211,000 in surplus when the year ends. Revenue, Bauer said, were up over $211,000 when compared to last year, but expenditures show an increase of just over $400,000. Bauer said the increase in expenditures are due to recent updates in instructional materials and rising salaries and benefits.
Operations and Maintenance Fund will have a balance of over $600,000 at the end of the fiscal year. Revenues were set at nearly $2.3 million, which include revenues from building bonds for the new elementary school while expenses are pegged at over $1.5 million.
There should be a revenue balance of $631,000 in the Transportation Fund at the end of the fiscal year.
Jeff Stauder, director of buildings and transportation, reported construction is about a week to two weeks ahead of schedule on the new elementary school. He said about 85% of the second floor walls are complete and the pouring of concrete for the parking lot has begun. The parking lot is expected to be completed this week.
At the least meeting, there was a bit of contention concerning the school district paying for temporary heating units for the upcoming winter. According to members of the Facilities Committee, this item was not included in the building construction budget and the school district should not be responsible. After meeting with the contractors earlier this month, it was agreed each side would split the cost of just over $14,900 to rent the units from Sunbelt – about $7,500 each – for the winter months. About $72,000 is being set aside for propane to run the heating system. FS Commodity said they would refund any unused propane after the season.
The Board voted to spend almost $27,000 to replace the chair lift in the junior high school building. Funds will come from the Life/Safety line item of the budget. Bauer said the current lift is old and parts are no longer available for it.
Just prior to the meeting, Stauder said he received quotes on roof repair at the high school. A fluid coating over the roof is estimated at $780,000 and has a 10-year warranty. Installation of insulation and a rubber membrane roof has a $1.25 million price tag and insulation with a metal roof has an estimated cost of $2.5 million. Each of the latter have 30-year warranties.
No action was taken on the roof replacement which will be taken up by the Facilities Committee later.
All four of the district’s principals reported test scores in math and reading at all of the attendance centers have improved according to preliminary findings. Curriculum Director Paul Donahue said the School Report Card should be available in October. He felt all of the buildings would be at the “Commendable Level.”
Members also approved some language changes to the Nokomis-Pana-Taylorville Special Education Cooperative agreement. Bauer said nothing is really changing. The changes, he said, just brought things up to date.
At 7:14 p.m., the Board entered into executive session for 45 minutes. When they returned to open session, they approved the following employment recommendations made by Superintendent Bauer:
New employees, Blain Morrison, LPN/Student Personal Assistant, Washington School; Leana “Ruth” Gibson, administrative assistant/head of purchasing, district office; Stephaine Vargas, substitute para professional; and Tracy Braye-Strawn and Yvette Alvarez, substitute teachers. Resignation: Cheesy Elliot, bus aide. Winter sports coach assignments: Laine Bacon, sixth grade girls basketball head coach.
The Board appointed member James Moon as its delegate for the upcoming Illinois Association of School Board convention in November in Chicago.
The meeting adjourned at 8:04 p.m.