ALEDO -- Mercer County School District Superintendent Alan Boucher told the school board this week he's looking to trim spending next school year by $900,000 to $1.1 million below this year's budget of just less than $13 million.
Mr. Boucher said the cuts are necessary because state aid for next year is likely to be $1.6 million less than this year. Part of the drop is because this year is the final one the district is receiving an incentive provided when it was formed by consolidating the Aledo and Westmer districts. The incentive was $591,000 this year for a grand total of $1.9 million over the past four years.
He predicted the district would also received less in general state aid and in transportation aid.
For budget planning purposes, building principals have already been notified that just $5,000 will be budgeted for textbooks next year, down from last year's $43,000.
In addition, Mr. Boucher notified both senior high and junior high athletic directors to submit recommendations reducing the sports budget by 10 percent for both junior high and high school athletics for the 2013-14 school year. This year's district's athletic budget for the junior high is around $90,000, with $240,000 budgeted for high school sports.
Mr. Boucher said the district should end its fiscal year on June 30, 2013 in the black.
Among the financial issues on the table for the next fiscal year include whether to continue with a mixed approach for transportation – half by the district and half by Johannes Bus Service.
Mr. Boucher reviewed the one transportation bid submitted by Johannes to provide all the transportation next year.
Overall, his analysis showed that Johannes could provide bus route transportation for regular route busing for less than what the district's cost is, but it would cost more for extracurricular busing. He cited employee payroll, retirement, workers compensation and fuel costs as well as any new bus costs (be they purchased or leased buses) as factors to consider.
The district's total cost for transportation in 2011-2012 was $1,062,633. Currently the district runs 11 regular routes, with Johannes providing for the rest.
The Johannes bid came in at around $996,000, according to Mr. Boucher.
The board did not vote on which route to go.
On the positive side, Mr. Boucher said the April 9 approval of a one percent sales tax to benefit the schools should bring in around $300,000 annually. The measure will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, with the district receiving its first payment about three months later.
In other business the board:
-- Ratified a three-year labor agreement with the Mercer County Education Employee Association effecting cooks and maintenance workers in the district.
·-- Approved hiring Lonnie Rinell as varsity volleyball coach; New Boston kindergarten teacher Jadian Simpkins, Apollo first grade teacher Kaylin Liken and third grade teacher Julia Brodrick, and New Boston mower Greg LeHew. Resignatiosn were accepted from Jason Snyder, assistant junior high wrestling coach and Jeremy Finch, varsity wrestling coach.
-- Renewed the superintendent's contract through 2016, with salary of $135,000 annually and family health insurance.
-- Agreed to purchase a few more security cameras for outdoor use at the high school for $2,925.
-- Approved raising meal prices for next year by 20 cents at all schools milk prices by a nickel.
Today is Sunday, July 27, the 208th day of 2014. There are 157 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The Rock Island Paper Mill is now operating. It is an establishment which our people ought to encourage by saving all rags for the mill, where you can get cash and the highest prices for them. 1889 -- 125 years ago: E. W. Robinson purchased from J.T. Miller the livery stable on the triangle south of Market Square. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Henry Kramer was elected president of the Tri-City Typothetae Franklin Club, which took the place of the Tri-City Ben Franklin Club. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Floyd Furh, Illinois City, was first-place winner in the second annual Gov. Horner Farm floral contest. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Nearly 4,000 people are expected to attend weekend sessions of the Jehovah's Witnesses Assembly being held at the Masonic Temple. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The B-29 Super-Fortress bomber is impressive looking, and it did the job during World War II. Its claim to fame is dropping the atomic bombs in Japan to end the war. Only one B-29 is operational in the world today. It is on display at the Quad City Airport in Moline until Friday.