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Lisbon fund balance has two year lifespan


LISBON – At Thursday’s budget hearing the Lisbon Central School Board of Education noted that the district has only enough money in its fund balance to last until the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

With $1.6 million in fund balance allocated in to close the $12.8 million 2013-2014 budget, Superintendent Erin E. Woods said the school needs to see an increase in state aid in the short term to back ends meet.

This year’s budget saw the district receive $6.4 million in state aid, representing 53.2% of the total budget, an increase of $190,000 over last year. The total budget is $280,649 more than last year.

Business Manager Wendy S. White estimated the district has $2.3 million left in its unrestricted fund balance, including the $1.6 million allocated this year.

“I think we will use about $400,000 of this year’s fund balance,” she said.

“It’s still a lot of fund balance to be using, but I guess we don’t really have a lot of choice,” Mrs. White added.

But with retirement fees and health insurance costs continuing to rise, the district will be hard pressed to close its budget within two years if state aid remains at its current level.

This year the school lost one teaching position to attrition. A teacher’s assistant also retired and will not be replaced.

In addition, the elementary school counselor will be reduced from fulltime to halftime along with a Spanish teacher. A middle school English teacher will likewise be reduced from fulltime to .625-time.

The district also increased this year’s tax levy by 4.25 percent to $3.12 million.

Mrs. White noted the Board of Education could have opted to increase the tax levy by 5.02 percent, but decided against it.

President of the Board of Education Blake P. Gendebien said the goal was to stay close to 4 percent, if possible.

Mrs. White said increasing the levy by another 1 percent would have only added $30,000 to the budget.

The budget vote will take place on May 21 and this year voters will have an opportunity to take a survey after they cast their ballots.

Ms. Woods said the goal is to find out why people voted the way they did, if they felt they were informed about the issues and how the district can better serve and communicate with the community.

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