The Canal Winchester Times

Canal Winchester

New state budget gives schools more money


The recently approved state budget includes more money for Canal Winchester schools, which Treasurer Joyce Boyer said means the district will be revising its financial forecast.

Boyer told the board of education at its July 15 meeting that she and Superintendent Jim Sotlar will be evaluating the impact of the state budget over the next few weeks.

"Our initial analysis of the budget shows that we have increased in funds over $800,000 for fiscal year 2014 and then it was over an additional $1 million for fiscal year 2015," Boyer said.

In the district's current five-year budget forecast, Boyer allocated $13.1 million for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Total general fund revenue was projected to be $34.9 million for fiscal year 2014 and nearly $32 million for fiscal year 2015.

Expenditures for 2014 were expected to place the district in the hole by about $195,000 and nearly $4.5 million in 2015.

Because the fiscal year 2013 budget expenditures were less than expected this year, the district may look at revising some of its line items, she said.

"Overall, our expenditures were $861,000 less than what we anticipated, or reduced by 2.6 percent, which helped to generate additional fund balances over what we projected," Boyer said.

"That gives us a better position going into the 2013-14 school year than we thought we were going to be at this time."

Sotlar said district officials are being "very conservative" with spending.

"We're trying to use taxpayers' money as diligently as we possibly can. We will continue to do that," he said.

The district also received a refund from the Ohio Bureau of Compensation of approximately $90,000. Boyer said the bureau recommends that the refund be used in the area of safety.

Sotlar said a portion the money may be used to hire a school resource officer from the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office who would be based at the high school, but would travel throughout the district.

"I am going to recommend that we hire a school resource officer for the 2013-2014 school year," he said. "I think school safety is our No. 1 priority."

Hiring a school resource officer would be "just one way to strengthen the processes we already have in place with our school safety," he said.

In other business, Director of Operations Mike Bruning told the board a proposed new fueling tank for buses, located adjacent to A.B. Weiser Field, might not be located there because of the cost to prepare the site. As a result, the district is looking into placing a larger tank at the present location near the high school parking lot to serve the needs of the district, Madison Township and the city.