Officials ask for budget flexibility |

Officials ask for budget flexibility

A school district budget that stays at the same level from year to year would also be a budget that cuts educational programs.

Before doing that, Super–intendent of Schools Pete Bergmann asked the Moffat County Board of Education to consider allowing for a little growth. The board agreed in March to a zero-growth budget. Bergmann said he thinks officials can come within $50,000 to $100,000 of meeting that goal.

“We’re working toward that and we’ll get as close as we can to the zero expenditure,” he said. “If we don’t make that zero percent, we’re hoping we’ll have the increase in revenues to cover it.”

Right now, the district is looking to spend $17,361,790. Last year’s budgeted expenditures were $17,302,920.

He and Finance Director Mike Brinks are going over the numbers “with a fine-tooth comb” looking for all possible cuts.

The board of education has closely monitored the budget, but it won’t begin the approval process until its June 9 meeting.

“If the board wants us to hold the line on 0 percent, you need to let us know because it’s going to be tough to hold that line and meet all our educational needs,” Bergmann told board members Thursday night.

He asked that the board let administrators get as close as they can to last year’s budget without cutting educational services.

Board members agreed.

Bergmann said the only way the district is even able to hold the line on expenditures is because so many long-term teachers have retired and the cost for the district’s medical insurance went down.

Current estimates set 2005-06 revenues at $16,564,960 — down $318,640 from this year. The district will have to dip into its reserve to maintain the same level of expenditures it had last year.

“We can’t keep spending our fund balance down,” Brinks said.

An ideal fund balance is at least $5.5 million, he said. Three months’ operating revenue is $4.5 million.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or

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