My last column started with, “This May during the ‘regular’ school election time, the district will run a levy for the general budget. The levy will be for about $20,751.13 or 6.08 mills. The exact amount will not be known until the legislature finishes up its business this year.”
Since that time our legislature has removed $5,726 from our ‘BASE Budget’. I can only guess what the final outcome of their deliberations might be. To be assured that we operate with the maximum budget authority, the maximum budget allowed by the state, we have printed the ballots proposing an operating levy of $26,476.92.
What is the ‘BASE Budget’? The BASE Budget is the amount of state aid included in our district General Fund. The balance of our General Fund comes from local taxpayer support and is called ‘over base’. Roughly 72.4 percent of our General Fund comes from the state. The balance or 27.6 percent comes from us here in Prairie County. It all originates from us taxpayers.
What happens if the legislature provides more support in the BASE Budget than I have planned on? For instance if the operating levy of $26,476.92 passes and we are only authorized $5,000 as the over-BASE levy, we will only receive the $5,000. Again, the General budget is a number that gives the district spending authority; historically the district has not spent 100 percent of its budget.
What happens if the legislature passes less support in the BASE Budget than I have planned on? We will operate on less than the maximum budget allowed by law. At some point, 45 days prior to the election, we need to make a decision based on the best information that is available. This is what we have done.
The Board of Trustees and I welcome your input and/or questions. I can be reached at the school, 635- 5533, or at home, 635-2158. Thank you for your concern and support.
Hospital CEO interviews
Finally, I am also on the Prairie Community Hospital Board, where we have three finalists to replace Mr. Reyman, as CEO. They are all scheduled for final interviews this month. I am available to provide any information on that other important part of our community.