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|12-17-02: Celina school officials to suggest budget
|By JANIE SOUTHARD
The Daily Standard
Celina City Schools administration plans to propose in January district
budget cuts to areas they feel will be least harmful to the curriculum.
Superintendent Fred Wiswell reported at Monday's board of education
meeting the budget reduction plan for the district will be publicly announced at the Jan.
13 board meeting when it is presented for board members' approval.
At that time Wiswell also will make a recommendation for a May ballot
proposal, he said.
The narrow defeat of the five-year, 1 percent income tax levy in
November left the district with a $1.5 million projected deficit balance for 2004,
district Treasurer Mike Marbaugh said. State requirements dictate that a board-approved
plan to address the projected deficit must be submitted by the end of January.
"Our focus in all planning sessions has been to protect the
integrity and quality of the curriculum. There has been much rumor and speculation by the
community as to what areas will be affected, but it has all been just that < rumor and
speculation. No decisions have yet been made," Wiswell said.
The superintendent said he has met almost daily with Marbaugh and
district Business Manager Mike McKirnan to "comb through virtually every aspect of
the district's total operations."
As well, he said he has met with school employee council and bargaining
unit representatives, individual board members, district administrators and weighed
feedback from the community.
"We have used core data that is measurable, and will propose
reductions where they will be least harmful to the district curriculum," Wiswell
The $32,000 water bill questioned at last month's meeting by board
member Cindy Piper will be paid next week, according to Marbaugh.
"I have worked with the utility department, gone through our total
water usage and pro rated it building by building. It's easy to see, our usage charged for
the summer was a 10th of what it was the year before," said Marbaugh, adding the
catch-up charges are clearly owed.
Board members approved the retirement of middle school cook Doris
Grunden, after eight years as substitute cafeteria worker and 14 years as full-time
Student council co-president Cory Howell told board members the
recently completed car raffle was "a tough experience, but we got through it."
With the $3,000 rebate General Motors gave the student council, total
cost of the 2003 Grand Am was $17,700, which netted the teens a tidy profit.
"What we didn't know was that taxes for the winner would be so
high. Total taxes were $7,000. We were unhappy about that," Howell said.
Winner of the vehicle was Dane Riesen of Celina.
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