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West Central School Board Looks Ahead At Finances

At the regular meeting of the West Central CUSD # 235 board on Monday, November 19, 2012, they discussed the idea of seeking approval to sell working cash fund bonds. The idea behind this request is to seek approval from the board and the public which will be good for three years but not sell any working cash fund bonds until it is absolutely necessary to do so.

At this point in time it is not anticipated that the need to sell working cash fund bonds will be necessary in the short term but it is the Superintendent's feeling that this is a good step to take given the uncertainty of school funding in Illinois at this time. The board agreed with this idea and asked Mr. Grimm to bring to the board in December the necessary documentation to begin this process.

The board finance committee made a brief report to the board. The board had previously discussed the deficit reduction plan concept as part of the levy discussion process. The board also reviewed briefly a letter from the board committee to the district stakeholders outlining the district finances at the current time and the plans that are being made regarding how to deal with the district's deficit on a "going forward" basis. By consensus the board approved the letter as presented and directed Supt. Grimm to distribute the letter as outlined by the committee.

Supt. Grimm provided an overview of the district's financial report. As of October 31, 2012, at the end of the fourth month of the fiscal year, actual revenue and expenditures to budget should be at 33.3%. Mr. Grimm reported that revenue at the end of October actual to budget was 29.96% and expenditures actual to budget were at 30.37%. Supt. Grimm also pointed out that as of November 19, 2012 the State of Illinois owes District #235 $281,530.01.

The board discussed at great length the tentative 2012 tax levy. As a result of that discussion, the board approved a tentative 2012 tax levy that calls for an extension amount of $4,208,886 which is a 4.8% increase over the 2011 tax levy.

Also as part of the discussion regarding the tax levy, the board discussed some concepts relative to a deficit reduction plan that the board finance committee is working on. The three concepts discussed were as follows: limiting the spending of district reserves to a predetermined dollar amount, increasing local revenue and reducing budgeted expenditures.

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m., by Board President Brent with all board members except Mrs. Goff present.

President Brent then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Under good news items the following items were highlighted:

Ms. Wendi Nobel was in attendance to address the board regarding concerns she has relative to bullying in the high school.

The consent agenda was approved and included:

Under financial activity, the board approved the payment of all bills including an additional bill for a tanker load of fuel that was recently purchased. They also approved the October activity accounts for each building and the treasurer's report as presented.

The board approved a lease agreement with Midwest Bus Sales for the 2013-14 school year. The lease agreement is for 18 - 2014 72 passenger buses at the lease price of $12,970 per bus for a total lease price of $233,460. They also approved a lease agreement with Midwest Bus sales for a 2013 - 20 passenger Mini tour Bus at the lease price of $13,600.

A recommendation was approved to begin the process to conduct the district's next ten year health life safety survey during the summer of 2013 as opposed to waiting until the summer of 2016 to conduct that survey. Supt. Grimm indicted to that the primary reason to do this at this time would be to take advantage of low interest rates in the bond market should bonds need to be sold to do the work identified as part of the survey and take advantage of lack of demand for contract work in the labor market.

Reports were heard from building principals, Mrs. Lafary, Mr. Nichols and Mr. Schneider. They also reviewed the district curriculum report as put forth by Mr. Grimm, the district special ed report by Mrs. Farniok, and the district technology report by Mrs. Frakes.

There was no discussion items listed on the agenda.

There were no future agenda items identified by the board.

Board President Brent asked the board if they felt comfortable taking action on the personnel items prior to entering closed session. The consensus of the board was that it was appropriate to do so and therefore took the following action of personnel:

The board entered closed session at approximately 7:40 p.m. to discuss matters pertaining to personnel. They exited closed session at 9:15 p.m.

The board was reminded that the regular December meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. This meeting will be held in the elementary cafeteria and will begin at 6 p.m.

There being no other business to come before the board, the board adjourned their meeting at 9:20 pm.