Proposed AC budget tops $10.5M

    A proposed budget for 2012 of more than $10.5 million for Adams Central Schools will be advertised publicly, given approval by the AC school board on Thursday night. Board member Mike Brown was absent.
    The proposed budget of $10,519,216, which will likely be reduced by state officials, includes these 2012 subtotals, with the actual subtotals for 2011, after changes by state finance officials, in parentheses:
    General Fund — $6,900,000 ($6,501,725).
    Debt Service Fund — $1,079,425 ($1,367,417).
    Capital Projects Fund — $1,359,791 ($910,791).
    Transportation Fund — $780,000 ($708,776).
    Bus Replacement Fund — $200,000 ($204,891).
    Rainy Day Fund — $200,000 ($200,000).
    What Pettibone expects to come for 2012 are $6.6 million to the General Fund, $1,079,425 to the Debt Service Fund, $1 million to the Capital Projects Fund $720,000 to the Transportation Fund, and $167,000 to the Bus Replacement Fund.
    The superintendent pointed out that the money in the General Fund and the Rainy Day Fund does not come from local taxpayers. General Fund money comes directly from the state.
    The remaining four funds are what the taxpayers in the AC district pay for. The total of those four in the 2012 proposed budget is $3,419,216.
    The 2012 tax levy for taxpayers will be lower in 2012 than this year because AC has less debt. The proposed tax rates for 2012 in the four funds for which local residents pay taxes would be as follows, said the superintendent:
    — 32.9 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation (APV) for the Debt Service Fund.
    — 35.4 cents per $100 of APV for the Capital Projects Fund.
    — 23.2 cents per $100 of APV for the Transportation Fund.
    — 5.8 cents per $100 of APV for the Bus Replacement Fund.
    The board voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, in the board's meeting room at the school.
    Final adoption of the 2012 budget is scheduled for the regular September board meeting on the 13th, starting at 7 p.m.
    In his presentation to the board, Pettibone said all employees with benefits are getting $5,332,157 in pay this year, including $3,269,696 for the teachers and $589,302 for seven administrators.
    He noted that the General Fund cash balance at AC has been going down in recent years, but is still well above the $200,000 sum that existed when he was hired a number of years ago. The cash balance drop has been from $689,677 at the end of 2007 to $381,953 at the end of 2010. The superintendent says his goal is to have a General Fund cash balance of $450,000.
    The Rainy Day Fund, which is only used to pay retiring AC personnel, has fluctuated from $700,000 at the end of 2007 to $780,000 at the end of 2008 to $704,787 at the end of last year.
    AC has about 1,230 students enrolled for the 2011-12 year, but may get at least another 20, which would add about $5,000 per student from the state to AC's coffers.
    Pettibone said the school is paying off the following debts: $31,125 for common school loans, $720,000 for the 2002 elementary school project, $122,263 for the swimming pool project, $50,000 for tax anticipation warrants, $3,987 for textbook rentals, and $152,050 for the qualified school construction bond.
    AC plans to buy two buses in 2012: a regular vehicle and one for special education students. The district will transport at least 15 students who are in wheelchairs. Pettibone also says the board may wish to consider buying used buses that are in good condition.
    The superintendent said AC may "outsource" grass mowing on some 18 acres of its campus.
    Meanwhile, Todd McDonald, who oversees AC's buildings and grounds, told the board that, at some point, the lights at the football field should be changed so fewer lights that give better and more efficient illumination are installed.
    McDonald also said the school's roof was checked this year by Fort Wayne Roofing and found to be in good shape, but periodic examinations must be made of the roofs over the 1987 addition, the two wings on the west side of the building, and the center of the structure, where considerable remodeling has been done as part of AC's $10 million construction and renovation project.