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Board produces lower year-end deficit than projected

It was good news for the Butler County Schools budget forecast during a Georgiana-hosted work session Thursday.

The session, which was called to discuss various methods to reduce the board’s year-end budget deficit, bore fruit, according to Butler County Board of Education superintendent Amy Bryan.

“Back in August, we had a budget presented that said we were going to be ending the year with a deficit, and the prognosis for the new year was going to be another deficit,” Bryan said. “And so we were eating into our reserves at a rate that we didn’t need to keep on. Chief school financial officer Brandi Moseley shared that by using passed-through savings, we actually can shore up or balance our budget. Instead of having a $450,000 deficit in last year, we ended up with a $180,000 deficit, so we did end the year better than we had projected.  The savings that were talked about had to do with grants, matches and the local costs that we have.

“Of course, the budget is only an estimate and things can change.  More or less taxes than we expect can come in, and costs could be more or less than we expect.  So the budget is a guestimate right now.”

At the 6 p.m. meeting, Butler County Board of Education District 1 member Michael Nimmer and District 3 member Brandon Sellers were named president and vice president respectively.

The board also received permission to file for Education Rate (E-Rate_ discounts), which are responsible for helping to fund programs concerning technology and communications.

Lastly, updates were made on a pair of Georgiana properties up for bid.

The highest bid for the old Georgiana High School property—excluding the facilities still in use, which include the football and baseball fields, press boxes, etc.—was awarded to Morris Middleton for $25,000.

The highest bid for the R.L. Austin campus was awarded to the Georgiana Family Life Center Corporation.

The superintendent report updated attendees on the progress of construction at both McKenzie and W.O. Parmer.

“We’re not that far along with classroom and library expansion at W.O. Parmer, but there has been significant moves since the last meeting to get the foundation ready for those buildings in Greenville,” Bryan said.

A regular board of education meeting is not scheduled for December.  Instead, the next meeting is slated for Jan. 19, 2017, in which the school system will further discuss potential savings.

“One of the companies that looks at utilities and offers suggestions to the board will have a work session prior to the meeting for that vendor to share about potential savings,” Bryan said. “He’s looked at our buildings and he thinks he can save us money there.”