School board approves 2014-15 fiscal year budget
Craig — Thursday’s regular meeting of the Moffat County School District Board of Education was one of many details of old and new coming together.
One of the major points of the meeting was members saying farewell to outgoing Superintendent Joe Petrone.
President JB Chapman called up Petrone from the audience to present him with a framed inspirational portrait of Abraham Lincoln on behalf of the board. Chapman said it was Petrone, among others in the district, who first encouraged him to get involved with the school board.
“I want to thank you for that, and for the five years that you gave us as a community,” Chapman said. “You are a master collaborator, and you know how to bring people to the table in the community, to get everybody on board and make the decisions that need to be made for children.”
Other members concurred, providing their own verbal tributes.
Petrone said he was truly grateful for the send-off from the board and Brent Curtice, who will take on the superintendent role now that Petrone will be gone.
Among other changes within MCSD was the announcement of several shifts in positions around the district, with the board accepting resignations from Craig Middle School Principal Joe Libby; Michelle Ray, CMS bookkeeper; Matt Ray, Ridgeview Elementary School physical education teacher; and Rick Schmitz, athletics and activities director.
Eric Hess, director of the Moffat County High School shop, also had a canceled contract due to the new terms of the program.
Chapman said administrators are “working diligently” to fill these positions, with many of them already filled and their former educators having accepted positions outside MCSD.
There have been 39 jobs open across the district’s various schools compared to last summer’s 35. Chapman noted that job turnover can vary from year to year depending on employees’ change of plans.
The meeting also saw the approval of the district budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which begins in July.
Finance Director Tinneal Gerber presented the details, which includes a general fund of $25,484,538 with a capital reserve fund of $2,463,554. The general fund will operate on a deficit of about $465,000, with the reserve fund’s deficit $275,000.
Much of the reason for the deficit is because of state funding decreasing on a yearly basis, as well as smaller student enrollment.
“We’ll be working on a three- to five-year plan for how to handle the deficit,” she said, adding that MCSD’s strong local funding from sources such as mineral rights has helped it stay in good financial shape compared to districts with different systems.
Gerber also presented details for financial resolutions for the school year, as well as a supplemental budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year to straighten up unforeseen details when last year’s budget was made, including the ECARE program, the district’s bond redemption fund and the pupil activity fund.
Among the adjustments made was a bump in funding for the district’s leases on Apple computers and other technology, as well as a plan to upgrade the MCSD infrastructure.
“It’s been about six years, so we thought it would be a good time to do that,” Gerber said.