Budget adjustments made to reflect contract settlements

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 3/1/00.

Adjustments to the 1999-2000 district budget were approved by the Paynesville Area School Board at their meeting Tuesday night.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell explained the district has had several contract settlements during the first half of the school year. As a result of those changes, adjustments needed to be made to the revenue and expenditure budgets.

Contract settlements were reached for the teachers, custodians, support staff, food service, and transportation.

Caldwell said the revenues were up due to interest earned on aid anticipated certificates. "We made some good investments," Caldwell added. "The interest rates were better than expected and we've earned more than $70,000 thus far."

The district revenue will increase $262,712. However, the expenditures will increase about $358,444, leaving the district deficit spending.

Caldwell will present next year's budget at the first meeting in March. "We deficit spent last year and this year. We need to be looking at reductions. We are managing the best we can within our budget," he said.

"Next year's budget won't be good news, but in reality we are not the only district experiencing budget problems," Caldwell said.

He added that the school districts usually go through cycles of good years and bad years. Paynesville is in the middle of the cycle right now.

"We need to look at ways to cushion the budget so we don't have any big drop and have to make major overhauls. Thus far, we are only looking at minor adjustments," Caldwell stressed. "With four retirements, we probably won't need to replace all of the teachers."

Other business
•The board approved a revised joint powers agreement with the Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative for the purpose of continuing in the group health insurance pooling program.

"The benefit of the policy is that we are with a large group and the insurance premiums are not a negative impact against one district, which softens the blow," Caldwell said. "In recent years, the district has used the policy a lot compared to what we have paid into the pool."

•The board approved revisions in the new employee criminal background checks. The district first adopted the policy in 1995. At that time, it cost the district $8 to have the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension do a back-ground check on new employees. The fees have been increased to $15.

•The board accepted the resignations of Jim Elseth, fourth grade teacher; Virg Vagle, seventh grade math teacher; and Dick Realdsen, middle school physical education teacher.

Elseth and Vagle have taught in the district since 1965, and Realdsen has taught in the district since 1969.

•The board approved the following spring coaching assignments:

Baseball: Brad Skoglund, head coach; Dick Realdsen, assistant; Virg Vagle, eighth grade; and Bob Bowden, seventh grade.

Softball: Tim Woehler, head coach; Dawn Knoll, assistant; Carol Smith, eighth grade; Laurie Nepsund; seventh grade.

Golf: Todd Knudsvig, head coach; and Jim Elseth, assistant.

Track: Dave Randgaard, head girls coach; Darrel Carstens, head boys coach; Scott George, assistant; Alycia Long, middle school girls; and Dave Mutschelknaus, middle school boys.

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