Board Approves Excess Funds for Capital Reserve
An estimated $2.5 million will be used on repairs for the next school year's budget.
At this week's Board of Education Meeting, the agenda was hefty but the majority of the meeting revolved around public comments concerning excess funds in the district and a few other issues.
The issue discussed was the approved resolution which at the estimated $2.5 million from this year's excess will be put towards the 2013-2014 capital reserve budget.
The rest of the extra funds will be put into the surplus account. A district is only allowed to have two percent surplus account of the districts budget by state law, which with Millburn's $75 million budget is $1.5 million, so the rest needed a resolution to be allocated somewhere.
A few residents complained the estimated $2.5 million should be used as tax relief for residents. These residents said they believed the state aid money, which doubled this year to $1.5 million, was supposed to lower school taxes as a property tax relief.
Superintendent Dr. James Crisfield explained, in an interview later, that was one of the options given to the town from the state in July of 2011, when the board received the funds. That option detailed, the board could reduced the tax levy, lowering the taxes for residents.The other was to raise the budget to $75,750,000 and spend it.
At that point, when the board received the money, the budget was already completed. It would have had to revise it and rush to make a decision allocating the funds Crisfield said.
The board decided then, it would wait and save the funds to discuss what the best use of the state aid would be, which was the third option Crisfield said.
"Now we have given it thought [it will go to capital reserve] because we have so many of these projects that have been neglected for so many years," Crisfield said in reference to work on the middle school's gym, possible roofing issues, bathroom renovations in the high school and fixing schools walkways.
The board is predicting this excess, of $1.7 to $2.5 million, is due to line items overbudget and extra revenue raise over the last school year since it is not completely finished yet.
Also during the public comment, Monica Palma spoke to the board about the recent senior prank at the high school and the punishment banning the students from the cruise. She asked the board to create a system for disciplinary action where the students receive due process. Still more to come on incident.
Additionally, Ed Rummel spoke on behalf of the Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey for use of the high school's auditorium after set backs over the last year. More information from the Patch as well.
The board approved all 21 agenda resolutions and scheduled the board's retreat meeting on July 9 at 7:45 p.m. and the board's self evaluation meeting on July 30 at 7:45 p.m. as well.