Fritze voices hope for 'break-even year'
The Park Rapids Area School Board on Monday approved a nearly $25 million budget for fiscal year 2019-20.
Based on average daily enrollment of 1,647 students and a state funding formula of $6,438 per student, the preliminary budget for the fiscal year starting June 30 projects general fund revenues of $20,215,643 and general fund expenses of $20,239,002. Total budgeted revenues are $24,826,167 and expenses are $24,791,426.
Business manager Kent Fritze said that allowing for unforeseeable events, he is "cautiously optimistic that we should have a break-even year."
Moved by school board member Clayton Hoyt, the preliminary budget passed without dissent.
Fritze also presented the revised budget for fiscal year 2018-19 with general fund revenues of $19,136,886 and expenses of $19,603, and total revenues of $23,788,358 and expenditures of $24,170,129.
He explained that the deficit was actually less than anticipated, shrinking from $820,000 projected last December to about $466,000 in the general fund and $381,000 overall. Fritze also noted that the 2018-19 budget is based on projected enrollment of 1,617, but the schools' actual enrollment was far higher.
"The last projection I got today was about 1,655," he said. "The revenues will be a lot higher."
Fritze reminded the school board that Community Education and food service turned profits this year. In fact, the food service fund balance has grown so high, he said, that "we'll be looking at ways to dig into that, as far as getting new equipment, or fresh food versus canned food."
Also, he recalled that the previous fiscal year ended with a $1.1 million surplus, while a number of expenses came in under fiscal 2018-19 that had been planned for 2017-18.
Board member Stephanie Carlson moved approval of the adjusted 2018-19 budget, with chair Sherry Safratowich telling Fritze with mock severity, "Revenues should be more than expenditures, sir. But we get it." The motion carried unopposed.
In consent items and general business, the school board:
• Sold the house built by the 2018-19 building trades program for $68,701 plus tax and moving expenses to Donna Sutton, the sole bidder. Proceeds go into the school district's general fund.
• Approved payments presented for June, totaling $1,075,628.
• Approved a 2019-21 contract with the ED-MN Park Rapids teachers' union.
• Rescinded the board-approved hire of elementary teacher Travis Bertram.
• Hired junior high volleyball coaches Katelyn Seehafer and Ellie Riihiluoma.
• Approved the resignations of head baseball coach Dan Etter and school psychologist Kim Sayer.
• Approved the Read Well by Third Grade literacy plan for 2019-20.
• Approved boys hockey fundraisers for 2019-20, including a bratwurst sale, a golf tournament, and a team poster and schedule with business sponsorships.
• Approved an Aug. 16 golf event as a 2019-20 football fundraiser.
• Approved allowing families to access supplemental coverage through K-12 Student Accident Insurance.
• Approved the 2019-20 workers comp coverage at an estimated annual cost of $83,362 with RAM Mutual Insurance Company.
The school board's next meeting is specially scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, July 8.