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Money tight in Bickleton School District

BICKLETON - Bickleton School District may need to dip into its cash reserves to meet operating expenses this next year, according to Business Manager Judy Naught. A quorum of school board members adopted the district's $3.5 million budget for the 2013-14 school year after a presentation by Naught last night. Naught said her numbers were a worst case scenario and that the district hoped revenues would make up some of the deficit. She said she had pared the budget wherever possible, but some portions could not be changed. The deficit is due in part to legislative actions that have pushed up retirement costs and teacher salaries. The district also faces uncertainty in revenue due to the economy and changes in property assessment in the county. The general fund is budgeted at $1,874,513 and the debt service fund at $1,355,000, making up the bulk of the district's budget. Superintendent Ric Palmer said the capital projects fund of $330,000 should finish off the current construction with an extra $14,300 left over at the end of the project. Naught said $75,000 was transferred to the fund from the general fund. The ASB fund is also down, at $24,251. Naught said fundraising is difficult in the current economy. "You can only tap the community so many times," she said. Naught also said budgeting for the district is not an exact science. "You never know," she said. As an example, she indicated that if the boys basketball team goes to state this year, there would be expenses she has not budgeted for transportation, lodging and food. The budget meeting was delayed due to the late finish of this year's state legislative session. Two board members were unable to attend Tuesday evening's meeting in Bickleton.

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