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District projecting deficit spending next year

BALTIMORE – Liberty Union-Thurston Local School District Treasurer David Butler projects that the district will spend more next fiscal year than what it brings in.

Butler presented an updated five-year forecast to school board members Monday night. The forecasts must be updated every six months. He projects the district will end the current fiscal year (June 30, 2012) with revenue exceeding expenses by $203,000, leaving a cash balance of nearly $5.2 million. That balance declines next fiscal year to a projected $4.5 million as expenses exceed revenue by nearly $650,000.

Superintendent Paul Mathews said projected income for next year is $400,000 less than the district’s income in 2009. About half of that shortfall is due to less state aid with the balance due to reductions in tangible personal property tax and district income tax collections. April’s income tax installation is up from a year ago, but still below the peak. “But it is going in the right direction,” Butler reported.

“It is not the expense line; it is the revenue,” Mathews said.

Architect Joe Schappa updated board members on the construction projects. A storm drainage system is being installed for the new parking lot being built on the site of the former middle school.

President Mike Raver said the new lot looks pretty small. A total of 38 spaces (four for handicapped parking) will be added, Schappa told him. He added that the Ohio School Facility Commission, which paid 60 percent of the cost to expand the elementary school, renovate the high school and build a new middle school, won’t pay for additional parking. “We weren’t supposed to have parking,” Schappa said. “We’re getting some parking.” The savings from bids that came in below estimates is being used to add parking, and to construct new administration and maintenance buildings.

Current high school parking lots, both behind the school and across Washington Street, will be resurfaced. Drywall work has started in the new maintenance building and fence work for the secure bus parking area will begin soon.

“It (project work) is getting close to the end,” Schappa added. “It’s been a long time.”

In their personnel actions, board members approved the resignation of high school social studies teacher David May. A long list of supplemental contracts were approved including:

• Audrey McGee, head girls soccer;

• Jared Shy, heads boys soccer;

• Harold Lloyd, head girls golf;

• Billy Phillips, heads boys golf;

• Krista Azeltine, head volleyball;

• Dan Johnson, head football;

• Renee Mangette, head cross country; and

• Ed Mattox, head junior high football.

In the recognition portion of the meeting, the concert band and Director Ben Factor were honored for achieving a superior rating for the fifth year in a row in state competition. “That’s an unbelievable run,” Mathews said. “We have a great thing going.”

The high school choral and Director Emily Fisher were also honored for a superior rating in state competition.

Kay Williamson was honored for her volunteer work. Mathews said she is a top notch expert in teaching reading and comes every day. She recently started a mentoring program at the middle school after she works on reading at the elementary school. Her volunteer 4th grade sewing club recently repaired a flag. “It’s been very rewarding,” Williamson said. She encouraged others to volunteer.

Co-students-of-the-month are juniors Jacob Bess and David Shook. Bess is the son of Peggy and Charles Bess. He is active in FFA. Shook is the son of Jill and Shawn Shook. He plays varsity football and baseball. Shook is a member of the foreign language and Leo clubs.

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