4/26/2017 8:01:00 AM Board reaches consensus on budget additions
Windom Area Middle High School students may see a big reduction in the amount they pay for activity fees during the 2017-18 school year.
During Monday night's work session at the Windom city council chambers, the Windom school board came to a consensus on items it will vote on adding to the budget for the 2017-18 school year. Among those items, and a topic that drew a lot of discussion, was the reduction or elimination of activity fees. The board batted around ideas of reducing athletic fees or eliminating them altogether.
However, in the end, they agreed to vote on two activity fees proposals at the May meeting - no activity fees for students in grades 7-9; and a reduction to a $10 fee per activity for students in grades 10-12.
Those changes would add about $24,500 to the budget.
What other additions did the board agree to consider at next month's meeting?
Adding a 10-month secretarial position - $40,000.
Additional overloads, a new Medical Careers class and a new Grow Lab - $36,000 to $41,000.
Elimination of gate fees for students at Windom home games (not including school musicals) - $12,000.
iPad replacement at Winfair - $50,000.
zSpace Lab tech curriculum for two years - $23,000.
Leasing of temporary classrooms - $220,000.
Add it all up and that's about $406,00 to $411,000 in additions.
And how is the district going to pay for these increased costs or lost revenue?
The district's 2015-16 audit showed a 20.72 percent unreserved fund balance and it is projecting a 25 percent unreserved fund balance at the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year. Because the district has committed to maintaining a 12 to 13 percent unreserved fund balance, the district projects - at the end of the current fiscal year - to have twice the unreserved fund balance.
Even with those more than $400,000 in proposed costs or lost revenue for 2017-18, the district still is projecting an unreserved fund balance of 23 percent.
Whether any or all of those propsals are adopted for the next school year will be voted on at the next board meeting.
For more on Monday's work session, see the story on page 1 of the April 26 issue of the Cottonwood County Citizen on newsstands today.