St. Charles school officials submit revised 1998 budget

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 25, 1998

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / May 25, 1998

LULING – The St. Charles Parish School System achieved a number of itsgoals as it submitted its revised budget for the fiscal year 1998 to the St. Charles Parish School Board Wednesday night.

The projected revenue for the fiscal year is $67,682,000. That is adecrease of $752,282 from fiscal year 1997, due primarily to one time payments received in both sales tax and ad valorem tax collections in fiscal year 1997. The main source of revenue is $26,478,000 from advalorem and $22 million from state and federal sources.

Expenditures in the general fund are projected to increase $176,374 from 1997 to $66,547,000. Expenditures for instructional programs accountedfor approximately $40 million (72.5 percent) of total expenditures. That isan increase from the 1997 actual expenditures that reflected an instructional percentage of 70.8 percent.”The increase shows our commitment to instruction, and we hope to keep it up,” Superintendent Rodney Lafon said.

Lafon said the budget includes all of the items promised to the public during the May millage renewal, including 43 additional teachers, continued implementation of the technology plan and employee pay raises.

The system also purchased 12 additional buses as per the recommendation of the transportation audit performed last year. The fund balance for June30, 1998 is projected to be $6,096,000.

The Capital Projects Fund Number One is used to account for the bond issue approved by voters in 1995, and most of the projects associated with the bond issue will be nearing completion by the end of the fiscal year. The construction fund is projected to receive $3,035,000, primarilyfrom the 4.9 ad valorem tax.Lafon said the lunch fund is projected to have little change in both revenues and expenditures from the past fiscal year and that there will be no increase in lunch prices for the sixth straight year.

“We are presenting a budget that is in balance, puts instruction first and includes all the items promised to the public,” Lafon said.

The revised budget was adopted unanimously by the board.

In other fiscal business, the board approved a resolution to levy its 1998 property tax millage rates in accordance of state law. Rates levied were4.10 mills for the school constitutional tax, 39.64 mills for schooloperations and maintenance, 4.90 mills for school construction andimprovement and 6.86 mills to pay the principal and interest on schoolbonds for a total millage rate of 55.50 mills. The millage rate includes asix mill rollback promised to the taxpayers.

In other business, the board authorized the purchase of a 50-foot by 600- foot strip of property adjacent to the school board property from the Jackie Bee Corp. for $23,000. The expansion would be used to meet theneeds of the Transportation Department.

Transportation Director Gary Martin said the immediate need for the land is to have more room for buses to get around the present garage. In thefuture once the area is paved, a bus wash facility can be added and 15 to 20 additional buses parked there.

A substitute motion was introduced by board member Mary Bergeron to offer to buy the property at the appraised price of $21,000, but that motion was voted down 5-2. The original motion was then passed by a voteof 6-1.

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