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 CAB Budget Hearing Draws Small Crowd

September 5, 2007 - The Charles A. Beard School Board held a brief public hearing on its proposed 2008 budget Tuesday evening.

For the second year in a row, the school corporation did not have copies of its bus replacement plan, capital projects plan and budget on hand for members of the public to review. As the hearing got underway, Wayne Township resident Dawn Wineman asked whether copies of the materials board members had for their review were also available for the public to examine.

"We don't have extra copies," CAB Business Manager David Bundy answered. He told Wineman that the paperwork he, board members and interim Superintendent Ray Pavy had was basically the same thing that had been published as a legal notice in The Banner and two other area newspapers.

While the hearing was only attended by four members of the general public, discussion of CAB's Capital Projects Fund, elicited questions from three of them. Wineman asked how long CAB had been setting aside money to install air conditioning in the elementary schools.

"I'm not sure, but I believe it's at least the last three years," Bundy replied. "It's something we've been doing for a number of years." He said he didn't think the school corporation had gotten to a point where it could put a price tag on the project.

Board President Mike Fruth said air conditioning for the three schools could cost $2 million to $3 million. Board member Debbie Ware added that she didn't think it would be fair to do any of the schools until there's enough money to do all three.

Wineman told the board she believes it's "better to be proactive and have a goal in mind." She said she and other parents and members of the public would like to have a clearer idea from the board as to how much money the project will require and when CAB expects to have the needed funds.

Former school board member Gerald Leonard asked how much money is in the Capital Projects Fund now for the air conditioning. Bundy said if the proposed three-year CPF plan is followed, there will be $350,000 by 2008, $400,000 by 2009 and $500,000 by 2010. Bob Myers, a former CAB superintendent, asked whether the Capital Projects funds were being invested, or if they were being commingled with the General Fund. Pavy answered that the funds are commingled on a day to day basis in order to pay bills, but said the money is separated back out by December 31.

In the past, the school board has conducted detailed overviews of its proposed budget and the six individual funds at a meeting held in the weeks leading up to its public hearing. However, this was not done this year, and no detailed overview of the budget was offered during last night's public hearing. According to the legal notice published in The Banner last month, CAB's proposed 2008 budget totals $13,498,001. This breaks down by fund as follows: General ($9,626,231); Debt Service ($2,082,170)); Capital Projects ($827,600); Transportation Operating ($820,000); Bus Replacement ($65,000); and Special Education Preschool ($77,000).

The school board is expected to vote on adoption of the 2008 budget at its September 18 meeting. That meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be held at CAB's central office, 345 N. Adams St., Knightstown.


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