BOE reserve likely to fall short in 2012

Published 6:30 pm Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Chilton County school system will still be playing catch-up in 2012, when it comes to meeting state-mandated budget requirements, Chief Financial Officer Steve Yeargan projected.

Even if annual reserves come close to the recommended $4 million by Sept. 30, Yeargan estimates that amount will fall to about 50 percent by the end of Fiscal Year 2012.

The reserve, which is a focal point of every budget, is supposed to be equal to about one month’s operating expenses for the system.

“If I’m at about 50 percent, I’m going to predict that on Sept. 30, 2012, we would have about $2 million in reserves,” Yeargan said Thursday, explaining that the preliminary budget is not ready yet. “That’s my best projection right now.”

The loss of federal stimulus funding is a major contributor to the expected shortfall. This funding was allocated over the past two school years.

Sales tax revenue, on the other hand, has surpassed projections for the past two months, at about $265,000; whereas Yeargan had projected about $220,000 in revenue.

But he doesn’t know if the trend will continue into the school year.

“I’m going to have to in all honesty look at that some more,” he said.

Employees are being asked to continue to help cut all unnecessary expenses, including utilities, maintenance and supplies. Travel is another area that is being scrutinized.

“Most people have been understanding,” said Superintendent Dave Hayden. “[We ask them to] please continue.”

The board is set to vote on the budget in September.