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West Liberty, OH

Casino revenue influencing five-year forecast (Audio included)

The Bellefontaine Board of Education conducted their second meeting of September Monday night. Money and how it is going to be spent garnered much of the board’s attention.

The board approved Treasurer Keith Krieger’s annual appropriation resolution for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. Hospitalization cost showed a $300,000 increase. The insurance company increased their rates twice in the past year.

Utilities cost is uncertain. With the subtraction of three buildings and the opening of two, making a determination of utility expense is difficult. The resolution did show the effects of the 1.5% salary increase given to the teachers.

The board approved Krieger’s five-year forecast for fiscal years ending from June of 2014 to June of 2018. Two positives were shared. Revenue from the state’s casinos is now influencing the forecast. The district received $65,000 last year and expects double that amount this year. Casino revenue is not earmarked for any particular reason. Superintendent Beth Harman is hoping to use some of the money to replace aging school buses.

Tangible reimbursements, a source of revenue lost by the district because of state mandate, has returned. It is uncertain how long these reimbursements will continue.

Staff costs have remained consistent. Most staff that have retired or left the district in the past five years have not been replaced. Harman expects the number of retiring staff to slow down. However, she does not expect to increase staff in the future. She is satisfied with the numbers - especially in the elementary schools.

An application for the Ohio TIF Incentive Awards for Year 3 Grant has been approved by the State Department of Education in the amount of $458,400. Harman described this as an incentive program for teachers. Teachers have the opportunity to earn extra money for performing certain tasks. Money earned from year two of the five-year program should be received by staff in November or December.

Harman announced that retired administrator and gifted coordinator Debbie Ellis has received a service award from the Ohio Gifted Association.

First-grade teacher Joni Siler was granted an indefinite medical leave of absence beginning September 9th.

The board will next on October 14th at 6:30 p.m.

Beth Harman talks money.

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