School district to lay out budget plan |

School district to lay out budget plan

Teri Vance

Following the advice of school board trustees, Carson City School District officials will present a tentative budget Wednesday evening in which they plan to use about half of the district’s savings accumulated over several years.

“We built it up in anticipation of difficult times,” said Tony Turley, the district’s finance director. “The difficult time has come, so we’re using it as anticipated.”

During a special workshop to discuss the budget last month, most of the trustees suggested taking about $5.2 million from the district’s $11.2 million ending-fund balance. Along with $1.4 million that had been set aside years ago in a special fund, it will close the gap between the $60 million it costs to operate the school district annually and the $53 million it receives in revenue from state and local coffers.

That leaves about $6 million in the ending-fund balance. By law, district’s are required to keep a month’s worth of operating costs in that fund, which is about $4.4 million in Carson City.

Because of that, Turley warned, this will be the last year that drawing from the savings to balance the budget will be an option.

“We can’t continue to spend at this rate,” he said. “Unless the Legislature does something dramatic, we will need to reduce expenditures in the next fiscal year.”

During Wednesday’s hearing, district officials also will present an overview of other funds, such as nutrition services, said Superintendent Richard Stokes.

“We review the program each year at the public hearing,” Stokes said. “We’ll go over number of meals served, and any changes in the program that have had any kind of financial impact.”

Officials also will present a look at upcoming renovation projects through the capital services fund.

Stokes said one of the larger projects will be at Eagle Valley Middle School, which is being reconstructed now through the bond passed in the November election.

“We have run into some building issues there as we’ve opened it up,” Stokes said. “We’ve found some health- and safety-related concerns that need to be addressed.”

Most notably, he said, the roof has suffered substantial damage from wind and now has chronic leaks. If not repaired, he said, it could lead to greater problems, such as mold or damage to floors and other equipment.

Stokes said the hearing will give trustees and the public a chance to react to the budget before it is finalized.

“Typically, the school board will take a look at the budget we present and give us their feedback,” he said. “If we need to make any modifications before the June 1 deadline, we can do so at the May 22 meeting.”

If you go

WHAT: Budget hearing for the Carson City School District

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Carson City School District Office, 1402 W. King St.