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Fort Larned USD 495 approves budget publication
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By Jim Misunas

LARNED — The Fort Larned School District approved publication of a proposed budget for 2012-2013 that will lower the mill levy a fraction from 55.837 to 55.811. The district will receive more money per pupil from the state and anticipates a slightly higher enrollment count than last year.
The supplemental general fund is budgeted for $2.4 million, an increase of $200,000 that is offset by a lower mill levy for bond and interest and lower figure for capital outlay. The district’s assessed valuation has risen from $43.0 million to $43.5 million.  
The budget publication allows the district to spend the maximum amount.
“It is a very conservative and responsible budget,” said Superintendent Jon Flint. “There is no intent to spend this much.”
The board will vote on formal approval of the budget after a budget hearing scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13. That meeting allows taxpayers to voice their opinions and objections to on the budget. Detailed budget information is available at the district office.
The district’s general obligation bonds have dropped from $2.4 million to $1.6 million in the latest proposed budget.
The proposed capital outlay mill levy is 5 mills. Future capital outlay money might be committed to building work or a bus investment.  
“Our capital outlay is in a good place,” Flint said. There is a good chance the middle school building will be paid off in the next year or year and a half. That helps us keep the mill levy down. But there is always upkeep for aging buildings and a new activity bus could be $125,00 to $200,000.”
The district will earmark $898,867 in a contingency fund to insure that the district can cover paychecks and other expenses as a protection against federal funding that might not be appropriated or late state payments.
“The reserve fund is kept because of uncertainties,” said Mark Bauer of VonFeldt, Bauer and VonFeldt, CPA. “It is wise to keep it there as a last resort.”
Flint said the federal government can withdrew at-risk funding and the state has been late on expected payments.
“It helps just in case the state does not make its budget or fails to meet its obligation,” Flint said.
Elected as new board president was Marcia Giessel and June Barger was elected as board vice president. Jay Haremza is outgoing board president.