• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Draft budget presented to school board

A draft budget for the 2017-18 school year was presented to the Woodford County Board of Education on Tuesday night. Because there are so many unknowns at this point, Chief Operating Officer Amy Smith told board members that this first of three 2017-18 budget presentations does include assumptions, such as some growth in local property tax revenue and an average daily attendance of 3,686 students, which determines state funding under the SEEK formula. The district only receives SEEK funding for half-day kindergarten, so local dollars pay the additional cost to provide full-day kindergarten in the district. Estimated balances in next school year's $38.8 million general fund include $2.8 million in the building fund, $368,000 in the capital outlay fund, $2.6 million in the debt service fund and $2.2 million in the food service fund, with an 11 percent contingency. Information about the district's special revenue (federal and state grant awards) and activity funds will be included in the tentative budget, which Smith will present to the board in May. The 2017-18 budget also includes dollars to purchase four new school buses, which Smith said keeps the district "on a good cycle for our buses." On average, buses will remain in service for at least 14 years, but Smith said, "We've got some buses that are 16, 17 years old." "We will utilize them as long as we safely can," schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins added. The board will be asked to approve the tentative budget for the 2017-18 school year at its regular meeting next Monday night at 6. Financial report Woodford County schools began the month of December with a total cash balance of $14.511 million and ended the month with $14.936 million, according to Smith's financial report. A transfer of $139,629.99 from the building fund to the debt service fund was made for a bond payment. The capital outlay fund included an expenditure of $15,910 for new security cameras at Woodford County Middle School, Safe Harbor Academy and Woodford County High School. "The new cameras are outstanding. And it really has been a nice addition" to those buildings, Hawkins said. The board will be asked to approve closeout documents on that project at its regular meeting next Monday. Food service donation More Than A Bakery, which is relocating its operations to Versailles, has donated $1,242.99 to the district to cover outstanding lunch balances owed by students in Woodford County schools. "It's a company that hasn't even opened yet, but yet they've already reached out to make a donation to cover those outstanding balances for our students," said Hawkins. ".I think that speaks highly of how they want to be involved in our community."

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