Treasurer: need for operating levy in district’s future

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — The five-year forecast for Sidney City Schools, is filled with good and bad news, said Treasurer Mike Watkins. And part of the news included Watkins reporting the district may have to place an operating levy on a future ballot.

Watkins, who reviewed the forecast during Monday’s board of education meeting, said the real estate collections for the next five years is “flat.” The forecast is for fiscal years 201 through fiscal year 2022.

“We have an emergency levy that comes up for renewal on Dec. 31, 2018,” said Watkins. “November 2018 will be the first time we’ll be allowed to ask for the renewal. Because of this, we can’t include it in actual collections after fiscal year 2019.”

The unrestricted grant grants-in-aid, he said, is the state funding the district receives.

“The state tightened its belt but we’ll still receive a $100 per student increase next year,” said Watkins. “That’s nothing like what we received in previous years.”

With expenditures, he said the salaries are fairly east to forecast because the contract for employees goes through the 2021 school year. He estimated insurance would increase 5 percent for the first year, 7 percent for the next year and 8 to 9 percent for the final three years of the forecast.

Purchased services, he said, are always challenging to forecast. Items include gas, water, electricity and trash pick up for the district.

“Open enrolled students out of the district, community school enrollment and John Peterson Scholarships are big variables in purchased services,” said Watkins. The College Credit Plus program is also in this category.

“Our expenditures are outpacing the revenues,” said Watkins. “This trend is continuing of the next few years. Sometime over the course of the forecast, you’re going to have to consider placing an operating levy on the ballot to supplement the emergency levy.

“We have a $20 million carry over this year, but it’s declining over the years of the forecast,” said Watkins.

The year-end balances of each of the five years of the forecast are estimated to be: $19,498,357 in 2018; $17,346,830 in 2019; $13,472,285 in 2020; $7,820,959 in 2021; and $845,858 in 2022.

The board approved the forecast, which is approved each year in May and October.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the transfer of $4,608.05 from the general fund to the unclaimed funds account.

• Approved an extension with IGS Energy through December 2022.

• Adopted the post-issuance compliance policies and procedures which deal with the recent bond refinancing.

• Accepted a $50 donation from Principal Michael Moore for the Board/Administration Scholarship Fund.

• Accepted the resignation of Galen Cathcart, aide, and Mark Shatto, custodian.

• Employed Lisa Shroyer and David Briggs as substitute teachers at $90 pr day on an as-needed contract.

• Employed John Tangeman and Shawn Dunlap as home instruction tutors at $26.11 per hour.

• Employed Rebecca Strunk as a substitute cook at $9.77 per hour.

• Approved winter sport supplemental contracts. Receiving contracts were John Willoughby, head boys basketball coach, $8,265; Jeremy Keaton, junior varsity boys basketball coach, $3,381; Scott Hooks, assistant varsity boys basketball coach, $4,884; Christian Taylor, freshman boys basketball game, $2,254; Tim Tennant, junior varsity girls basketball coach, $4,132; Tori Purk, assistant varsity girls basketball coach, $3,005; Dave King, eighth-grade girls basketball coach, $3,550; Erica Scully, seventh-grade girls basketball coach, $3,381; Mary Jannides, head swim coach, $3,945; Mark Miller, assistant swim coach, $3,381; Clayton Westerbeck, head wrestling coach, $8,265; Ryan Shurts, freshman wrestling coach, $2,630; Larry Jurosic, Sidney Middle School wrestling coach, $2,254; Trent Knoop, head bowling coach, $2,254; Michelle Abbott, assistant bowling coach, $1,503; and Levi Hahn, winter strength coach, $1,127.

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. at the board of education office.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.