Trustees can’t agree on budget |

Trustees can’t agree on budget

Christine Kuklica
The Churchill County School Board recognized the Transportation Department for their service to the district. From left back row are Stena Dowling, Terry Mitcheltree, Nancy Richardson, Donna Lima, Mary Favstritsky, trustee Nona McFarlane, Lori Warkentin, Steve Russell director of Transportation, Toni Dalluge, Ron Turner. Bottome row left are Lanette Robinson, Nancy Shadley, Joy Swett and Evelyn Lammel.

The Churchill County School board met Wednesday night to make head way with the looming deadline for the final budget cut, but trustees were unsuccessful on agreeing with the motion to move forward.

Phyllys Dowd, director of Business Services, said the final budget cut must be turned in by June 8 and if it is not, then the state will take over budget decisions. She said a statute is in place in case a board cannot come up with a budget.

She said NRS 354.598 states, “Should the governing body fail to adopt a final budget that complies with the requirements of law and the regulations of the Committee on Local Government Finance on or before the required date, the budget adopted and used for certification of the combined ad valorem tax rate by the Department of Taxation for the current year, adjusted as to content and rate in such a manner as the Department of Taxation may consider necessary, automatically becomes the budget for the ensuing fiscal year.”

“So what that means is they’ll take our current year budget and adjust it as they see fit and give it to us for next year,” Dowd said. “At that point it really becomes their budget and the Department of Taxation can make changes as they see fit.”

Dowd informed the trustees of the recommendations made by the budget committees: Reduce instructional materials, $50,000; reduction of site budgets at $7 per student, $24, 871; extra prep period for CCMS music, $9, 334; eliminate trash program (reduce custodian), $30,332; Federal programs staffing adjustment, $24,800; and board travel to NAFIS, $3,500, with a savings of approximately $142,837. Additional recommendations that would be a last resort are account tech, $67,068; athletics at middle school, $53,000; and eliminate dean at high school and place in classroom, $21,451. The savings would be about $141,519.

School Board President Ron Evans said it’s difficult to deal with situations like this.

“When we have situations beyond our control — where money that’s supposed to come from the state doesn’t show up or the federal government,” Evans said. “I really don’t feel like that 4 percent is something that we have to strive for. Since I’m president and would have to appear before the taxation board, I have no problem with 3.4 percent as our ending fund balance.”

Trustee Steve Nunn said he still has concerns about the budget and where it might leave the district.

“I agree with the president about the 3.4 percent,” Nunn said. “But what I have a problem with is approving the budget in speculation. We’re being asked to approve a budget when we don’t even know numbers.”

Although the majority of the trustees passed the recommendations made by the budget committee, they did not pass the motion on the fiscal year 2014-15 to present to the state. A special meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Churchill County Administration Office, 690 S. Maine St., to try and finalize the budget to submit to the state.

Other items the trustees approved and/or discussed include the following:

Discussed updated Capital Improvement Plan.

Discussed charter school’s impact on the school district.

Approved Leighty Appraisals, Inc., for $450 for the appraisal of the student-built house located at 462 Discovery Drive per NRS 393.240.