Northridge Local Schools treasurer Felicia Drummey was pleased to tell school board members at their July 20 meeting that the district ended its fiscal year with money in the bank, but cautioned them that they face "unknowns" in the financial future.

Northridge Local Schools treasurer Felicia Drummey was pleased to tell school board members at their July 20 meeting that the district ended its fiscal year with money in the bank, but cautioned them that they face "unknowns" in the financial future.

As a result of spending freezes and receiving rollback and homestead monies, as well as real estate tax advances, in late June, Drummey said the district was able to close the fiscal year with approximately $550,000 in the bank.

"With that coming together quickly, we didn't need to borrow," she said. "The sheer fact we didn't need to borrow puts us in a better position."

The board previously approved legislation that would have allowed the district to borrow in anticipation of the need to cover July payroll.

Northridge begins the new fiscal year with many unknowns, according to Drummey.

Although the state budget has been established, she said there are seminars on understanding a new, complicated funding formula for schools.

"We should expect a 1 percent reduction from the current budget and another 1 percent reduction next year," she said. "As we learn more about the budget, we'll include it in our five-year forecast."

Drummey also announced that Northridge received federal stimulus dollars through the 20009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Stimulus.

The board approved establishment of the new funds including $84,391 for math and reading intervention and $303,585 for special education.

She said the district must be careful how it uses those dollars because the funding is limited to two years.

The board scheduled a joint meeting with the finance committee at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 19 in order to discuss a community engagement process for a future building project. Superintendent John Shepard said two community forums will be scheduled before January concerning a master campus plan.

Drummey said the board and finance committee will also discuss the timing for the renewal of a 1 percent income tax at the Aug. 19 meeting. The income tax expires in 2010.

Shepard said many districts are staying off the ballot in November because of confusion concerning the funding formula.

"We also need to be aware of voter fatigue (at the ballot)," Drummey added. "We have three opportunities to put the income tax on the ballot."

Also at the meeting, Shepard said the district will focus on changes that are needed as a result of the state heading toward the American College Testing instead of the Ohio Graduation Test.

"The standards for 9-12 may shift," he said.

Also at its July 20 meeting, the board:

Declared an urgent necessity to repair or replace existing asphalt in the most deteriorated paved areas of the parking areas and access roads of district facilities. Drummey said the work would occur in phases, with the worst areas being addressed before the start of school this fall. The cost will not exceed $200,000.

Recalled non-teaching employees from reduction in force for two full-time custodians and two full-time secretaries.

Approved the resignations of Jacinda Wetzel, high school vocal music, and Leah Dudgeon, high school math.

Employed Elizabeth Miller, high school math, and Elizabeth Brand, high school vocal music.

Issued fall supplemental contracts with Brand; Tony Ashbrook, eighth-grade football coach; and Rob Ballinger, high school assistant football coach.

The next meeting of the board will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 17 in the high school media center.