Proposed MSD budget expecting big deficit

MEEKER I After reviewing the final plans for high school graduation ceremonies with school counselor Amy Chinn at the May 19 meeting, the Meeker Board of Education looked at the school district’s preliminary 2015-2016 budget.

Superintendent Mark Meyer reported the estimated expected revenue for the upcoming school year to be $5,604,433 with projected expenses totaling $6,354,130. This would result, Meyer said, with a projected deficit of $749,697. Not included in these estimates are a probable one-time abatement from county property taxes, four-day-week savings and some unspent dollars from the current school year.
These additions to the revenue side, Meyer said, would reduce the deficit to about $300,000.
The final 2015-16 budget must be approved by the school board before the end of June, presumably at their June 16 regular meeting. The projected $6.354 million in expenses for next year exceed this year’s budget general fund expenses by $432,000. Meyer and MSD Finance Director Janelle Urista attributed this expansion to increases in insurance and state retirement fund costs, salary-step increases for all staff members and a higher contribution to the all-county Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).
The BOCES increase by itself is $188,000. BOCES is adding a full-time nursing equivalent to its budget by establishing full-time nursing positions for Rangely and Meeker schools. BOCES will also support a full-time psychologist for Meeker and provide step increases to their staff.
The board discussed the difficulty BOCES is having getting qualified nurse applicants for the new full-time positions in Meeker and Rangely and that theres is currently only one promising candidate for the full-time psychologist position for Meeker. Interested parties are urged to contact Rio Blanco BOCES at 675-2064.
The board received a celebration of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) from agricultural education and communication teacher Trina K. Smith and a few of her FFA students. Most exciting was the announcement that Brittany Smith (no relation) had won the regional competition for extemporaneous speech and will be going forward to the state FFA contest.
In staffing considerations, the board accepted the resignations of Pat Ibach, a fifth grade teacher; Brett Steinacher, the district athletic director and physical education teacher; Jennifer Steinacher, a first grade teacher; and Keely Winger, an assistant high school volleyball coach.
The board also recognized Charlotte Kurzeika’s retirement after 17 years as a district bus driver. Approved for the fall coaching staff were the following: Briana Williams, head MHS softball coach; Rick Dodds, assistant high school softball coach; Shane Phelan, head high school football coach; Andy Coryell, Matt Dupire and Ben Quinn, MHS football assistant coaches; Darby Finley, a volunteer MHS football coach; Marty Casey, head MHS cross country coach; Janae Stanworth, head MHS volleyball coach; Julie Bowman, first assistant MHS volleyball coach; Nancy Lombardi, MHS cheerleading coach; and Becky Ridings, volunteer MHS cheerleading coach.
The first reading of personnel policy updates regarding professional staff schedules, first aid training, banking sick leave, staff assignments and transfers, and evaluation of licensed personnel were submitted by Meyer. The second and third readings will come in June.
The board’s next regular meeting is June 2 at 7 p.m.