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12-17-02: Celina school officials to suggest budget cuts
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 declared.
    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 cafeteria worker.
    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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P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822