BOE approves FY 2014 amended budget

Published 6:49 pm Friday, June 6, 2014

The Chilton County Board of Education approved an amended budget for Fiscal Year 2014 during a called meeting Thursday at the Central Office.

The board’s amended budget must be sent to the state department by June 15 for approval in order for the board to receive federal funds carried over from 2013, Chief Financial Officer Steve Yeargan said.

The carry-over funds (typically between $250,000–$350,000) are designated for materials, supplies and equipment for classrooms and must be spent by Sept. 30, which marks the end of the 2013–2014 fiscal year, Yeargan said.

Yeargan presented the amended budget to the board Thursday and compared it to the original budget, reviewing general funds, special funds, capital funds and non-public funds and providing the board with explanations for why fund balances in the amended budget were higher than balances in the original budget.

“I would rather have a conservative figure,” Yeargan said of the original budget. “I try to be conservative in case we have emergencies come up.”

The board must maintain a minimum of $4 million in reserve as required by the state to cover operating expenses for a month in case of emergency.

In September 2013, board members approved a proposed budget of $82 million for FY 2014, knowing they would have until June to amend the budget.

In the board’s amended budget, the ending balance in general funds was about $5.6 million, compared to about $4.8 million in the original budget, for a difference of about $858,000.

The ending balance in special funds was about $2.1 million, compared to about $1.8 million, for a difference of about $276,000.

The ending balance in capital funds was about $4.5 million, compared to about $3.9 million, for a difference of about $572,000.

The ending balance in non-public funds was about $323,000, compared to about $369,000, for a difference of about $45,000.

Regarding the figures listed above, the amended budget reflects an estimated ending balance of about $12.5 million, compared to the original budget’s estimated ending balance of nearly $10.9 million, for a difference of roughly $1.6 million.

Yeargan said one of the main explanations for the increased ending balance on the amended budget is a reduction in Child Nutrition Program expenditures.

“We got to keep $639,000 that we didn’t have to send in because CNP exceeded their two-month mandatory reserve,” Yeargan said. “They were successful on their operations to maintain more than a two-month reserve.”

Yeargan said CNP’s excess of funds this year is roughly $100,000 more than it was last year.

Another addition to the FY 2014 budget was about $68,000 in proceeds from the sale of timber cut from several parcels of land the board owns in the county.

Yeargan told the board the proceeds have been placed in operating funds, but the board would need to decide whether to keep them there or move them to Capital Outlay funds.

The board will also have to pay $250 per acre to replant all of the property from which timber is cut.

Yeargan sent the amended budget to the state Friday and will start working on a proposed budget for FY 2014–2015 to present to the board later this summer.