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March 19, 2018 Board of Education Special Budget Meeting Minutes

 

March 19, 2018

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

A special budget meeting of the Board of Education of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by President T. Zellweger in the High School Library on the above date.

 

 

ROLL CALL

 

Present: A. Guiney, J. McGill, B. Remington, H. Simmons, D. Taylor, W. Witherell, J. Yette, J. Young, T. Zellweger, and Mr. Walbridge.

 

Absent: None.

 

Others: E. Alan, S. Latimer, M. Robinson, and C. Snell – 6:43 P.M.

 

 

QUORUM

Quorum of five established.

 

 

QUESTIONS FROM PUBLIC & PRESS

None.

 

 

CONTINUED 2018-2019 BUDGET DEVELOPMENT WORK SESSION

Dr. Collins introduced Dr. Richard Timbs to the Board of Education. Dr. Timbs gave a brief background of his career, and noted that as Executive Director of Statewide School Finance Consortium he represents more than four hundred school districts.

 

Dr. Timbs said he had worked with Dr. Collins and Mr. Robinson in gaining a historical financial perspective of the District through its past audits, ST-3 data (Annual Financial Reports), documents from capital expenses, bonds and anticipation notes, interest rates, long-term debt, and debt load. Mr. Timbs also noted that the amount of state building aid allotted to districts is predicated on how much money is spent, not how much is borrowed for capital projects.

 

Richard Timbs presented a PowerPoint slide show to the Board, detailing matters such as debt service schedules. Dr. Timbs also shared his examination of the Tax Cap Calculation. He added that the notion of “2%” is often very unpleasant to speak about, and really has nothing to do with 2%. R. Timbs also looked at the District’s PILOT calculation, and stated it is a revenue stream for the District.

 

In the presentation, Dr. Timbs charted a projection of Teachers’ and Employees’ Retirement Systems rates. He explained there are some of the most fully-funded systems in the United States. R. Timbs said other states in the nation do not fund such retirement systems, and that in New York the costs for these pensions are all paid up front.

 

R. Timbs reviewed capital project debt-service aid and school bus debt-service aid. He stated it is better to not borrow funds for school bus purchases. He said that aid for school buses is received over five years, with 1/5th of the aid being granted each year. Dr. Timbs said the District would encumber no interest on bus purchases when paid for with cash. He indicated a hypothetical schedule chart to assist with bus purchases for the next several years. He also noted school buses could become quite expensive if the aluminum tariff continues.

 

Dr. Timbs examined the District’s various fund balances, all of which were governed by either general municipal law or educational law. He discussed restricted fund balances, and made suggestions for adjusting several reserves. R. Timbs continued that Capital Reserves are governed under education law, and therefore require voter approval to establish. Dr. Timbs recommended the District start another Capital Reserve resolution.

 

R. Timbs spoke about the reserve for retirement contributions and noted that the reserve was for a specific purpose. He said this reserve should be underfunded rather than overfunded. He said the Board President would need to certify that it has been overfunded, and then the Board of Education could transfer, by resolution, the overfunded monies to another reserve.

 

Dr. Timbs stated that the District cannot have a funded Tax Certiorari reserve unless it is currently experiencing a claim. Even if the District expects a challenge, there cannot be funds put into the reserve in anticipation.

 

Richard Timbs noted that anything categorized as “repair” is not aidable. He said the District does not and cannot have a reserve for repairs. He also said the District does not have a reserve for debt, as it did not sell any buildings on which money was owed. R. Timbs said the District does not have other restricted fund balance, such as reserves for tax reduction and operating a nuclear facility within the District’s boundaries.

 

Dr. Timbs discussed assigned appropriated and unassigned fund balances. He mentioned the Cafeteria Fund and Debt Service Fund. He said the Debt Service Fund is money accumulated in the District from capital projects divided over fifteen years. He said this money is intended to be used against debt. Once the money in that fund is depleted from helping to offset the debt, it cannot be replaced.

 

R. Timbs noted the documentation for calculating the state aid formula for school districts is approximately seventy pages long. He added that the budget is based on data submitted in January, and that the governor is proposing an increase of almost $100,000 in foundation aid for the District.

 

Dr. Timbs discussed the aid received by the District from BOCES. He said a service is purchased for one school year, but the aid is not obtained until the following year. R. Timbs pointed out that the District’s aid appears to be increasing because there has been an increase in the number of high-cost students with special needs. He also said the Instructional Materials line includes software, hardware, library materials, and textbooks calculated on a “per student” basis. If enrollment declines, he explained, aid will decline. Dr. Timbs stated Universal Pre-Kindergarten aid has been frozen for years.

 

In closing, Dr. Timbs projected fiscal assumptions based on budget estimates. He proclaimed the money “going out” of the District is starting to surpass the money “coming in”.

 

 

 

Christina Snell entered the meeting at 6:43 P.M.

 

 

 

R. Timbs reviewed a projections graph and said the only factor that can be adjusted by the District is real property taxes. He discussed his recommendations with the Board, and encouraged Board Members to contact their legislators. Dr. Timbs welcomed Board Members to direct questions they may have at a later time to Dr. Collins, who will then contact Dr. Timbs.

 

T. Zellweger thanked Dr. Timbs for his attendance and presentation.

 

 

INFORMATION

The Board received budget figures based on tax levies of 3.5% and 3.59% and a list of upcoming events of interest.

 

 

No. 2018-116

ADJOURNMENT

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by J. McGill to adjourn at 7:02 P.M. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

___________________________

School District Clerk

12 County Route 47
Parishville, NY 13672
Phone: 315-265-4642
Fax: 315-268-1309

Mission Statement:
The PHCS community strives to instill in all students the knowledge and skills necessary to become caring, conscientious, and creative citizens.

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