Negaunee Board of Education approves 2019-20 budget

NEGAUNEE — The Negaunee Board of Education recently adopted the school district’s 2019-20 budget, which includes an addition to its fund balance of over $21,500.

Negaunee Public Schools Superintendent Dan Skewis said 2019-2020 revenues are projected to be about $15.77 million, with expenses estimated to be $15.75 million. The fund balance projection for June 30, 2020 is approximately $3.2 million.

“It’s always good, with your first setting of the budget, that you’re seeing that you’re going to be in the black at the end of the year,” Skewis said.

The board also recently OK’d an amendment to the 2018-19 budget that showed revenues of about $16.7 million and expenses of about $16.56 million. It showed an addition of approximately $141,000 to the fund balance, which as of June 30 is about $3.16 million.

“When you compare the two, you’re seeing a million-dollar difference in both revenue and expenses, and that’s because of the bus garage,” Skewis said in reference to the 2019-20 budget and 2018-19 amended budget.

The amended budget, he said, was elevated due to insurance revenue to offset the expenses related to the collapse of the bus garage, which took place on Feb. 23 during heavy snowfall.

Skewis said the bus garage reconstruction project will be bid out at the end of this month, start in September and hopefully be completed by Christmas break.

In the meantime, the school district has been leasing a building at the old airport.

“It isn’t a building that can house buses, but we don’t necessarily need to do that right now because the weather is OK, so right now we just have a building that we can do repairs in,” Skewis said.

Two buses can be repaired inside, he noted, while other buses are parked inside.

Skewis said the district typically budgets conservatively, especially on the expense side, but his predicts that number will go up when the budget is amended in January.

And as long as nothing unforeseen happens, he also believes it will rise again in June.

“To be adding to the fund balance right away is great news,” Skewis said.

Upcoming projects this summer, he said, include the repainting of the floor in the Lakeview Elementary School gymnasium to make it look more modern as well as the addition of bleachers.

The main hallway at the high school will be recarpeted with carpet tile and the lockers refinished, while at the middle school, 52 new interior doors will be installed through a grant from the Michigan State Police, Skewis said.

Four new teachers were hired in June based off retirements and resignation, plus an additional elementary section was needed, he said.

Also in June, the board adopted a fund balance policy that set a goal for the board and administration to have a fund balance between 15 and 20% of the annual budget.

“Right now we’re sitting at 20.8%, so we’re in really good shape there,” Skewis said. “There aren’t a lot of districts that see that percentage, so we’re really proud of that.”

The non-homestead millage for the upcoming school year was set at 18 mills.

The sinking fund millage will be 2.1 mills, and the 2016 refunding bond debt millage will be 1.14 mills.

A mill is $1 on each $1,000 of taxable value.

Skewis also noted the student enrollment project for 2019-20 is 1,580 compared with the February count of 1,573.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.