Escanaba OKs budget amendments

ESCANABA – The Escanaba School Board unanimously approved two budget amendments – routine action for the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year – during Monday’s school board meeting.

The board passed the third budget amendment for the district’s general fund for the 2012-13 fiscal year with revenues in the amount of $21,189,377 and expenditures totaling $22,238,925, which leaves the district with a projected unreserved fund balance of $233,661 on June 30, 2013.

“One of the major components that has changed in amendment three in the general fund is a change in our retirement allocation,” explained the district’s Business Manager Sue Furney. “The state is helping to fund some of the retirement and the way that is occurring is they are paying us a certain portion of the retirement and then we have to expense it back to the retirement office within a certain account number so it shows as a true expenditure – as a revenue and expenditure. That amount is $226,074 for this year.”

The board also approved an amendment to the district’s hot lunch fund for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The amendment reflects revenues totaling $1,081,575 and expenditures of $1,129,746 with a projected unreserved fund balance of $51,587 on June 30, 2013.

The district will begin the 2013-14 fiscal year July 1 and is estimating a loss of 48 students. Superintendent Michele Lemire highlighted the latest budget planning projections for the coming year, which shows a projected decrease in revenues of $307,762 linked to declining enrollment and a reduction in a Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System offset the district will receive.

The district is also anticipating an $82,600 retirement rate increase along with potential contractual and unemployment costs; approximately 30 positions have been reduced district-wide for the 2013-14 school year.