District eyes $21.6m budget


SOUTHWICK – The Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District preliminary fiscal year 2014 budget reflects level service and about a three percent increase.
The Regional School Committee received an update this week from Business Manager Steve Presnal and Superintendent John Barry.
Presnal said the proposed budget, as of Jan. 30, was $21,554,646. The adjusted 2013 budget was $21,261,700.
The numbers include projected assessments of 3.67 percent for Southwick, 4.8 percent for Tolland and 3.12 percent for Granville. Presnal said there is also a target share gap for all three communities. He added that the state numbers are available on the Department of Education website.
Barry said the budget is tight.
“There isn’t a lot of wiggle room in the budget,” said Barry. “Aside from a couple of extravagances, there are no reductions.”
Last week Presnal and Barry met with the Board of Selectmen and town Finance Committee to present its preliminary budget. Barry said they are not looking at staff reductions at this time and hope they will not need to do so.
“We don’t anticipate layoffs and we don’t anticipate loss of programs,” Barry said.
Barry said they are also conscious that the debt exclusion for the school project takes effect next year.
“We understand the debt for the project will hit taxpayers next year so we’re trying to balance that out,” said Barry, noting that the schools will keep its promise of lowering capital expenses during the debt payoff years.
The 2014 debt service is $1,150,000. Anticipated revenues for the coming year include a $60,000 Medicaid reimbursement, $660,096 regional transportation reimbursement, $9,546,823 in education foundation funds, local tuition of $50,000, fee charges of $30,000, and E-Rate Universal Service Funds of $10,000.
Expenditures include $7,010,869 for general administration, $434,649 for capital improvement, $2.7 million at Woodland Elementary School, $1.1 million at Granville Village School, $3.1 million at Powder Mill Middle School, $4 million at the high school, and $3 million on special education.
Presnal’s grant prediction is $823,297. He expects $225,000 in circuit breaker funds, and $500,000 in school choice.
Presnal said the budget must be finalized by April 1. A public hearing on the budget will take place in March.



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