Bethel board discusses budget

By Cecilia Fox -

BETHEL TWP. — On Monday night, the Bethel school board discussed district finances and approved the establishment of a capital project fund and the approval of appropriations, as well as the 2019 budget.

According to Interim Treasurer Tammy Emrick, the district’s general fund revenue is approximately $150,000 over budget as of the end of November. “I expect that to smooth out,” she added.

General fund expenditures are about $55,000 under budget, she noted.

“That’s where you want to be,” she said. “All told, the budget is doing quite well.”

The board voted to establish a capital project fund that will accumulate resources for the new and existing school facilities.

“The monies that everyone supported to build a school have collection schedules and those collection schedules are associated with the building fund,” board member Brian Moore said. Creating a capital projects fund would align the money collected for building projects and improvements.

The board approved updated appropriations, including: $22,250 in the general fund, $78,350 in the permanent improvement fund, $15,000 for food services, $12,800 for uniform and school fees, $52,000 for the student activity fund, and $26,925 in other local funds.

The board also approved two certificates of availability for construction projects that were approved earlier in the year.

In other business, Superintendent Ginny Potter provided an update on the new addition from the district’s owner’s representative, Joe Harkleroad.

Potter reported that the addition is fully complete and site work is wrapping up. There is an issue with surface water drainage at the north end of the parking lot. Site conditions will be evaluated, Potter said.

She added that sidewalk and ADA-ramp installation has been delayed by the weather.

Potter also reported that the district is looking at hiring a new special education teacher next year, as well as a new English as a second language (ESL) teacher.

“Our numbers are increasing in ESL, we are up above 90. That is a lot for one teacher to handle,” she said.

Current district enrollment has dropped slightly since the beginning of the school year from just over 1,400 to 1,396. Potter noted that enrollment numbers fluctuate frequently.

By Cecilia Fox