District 181 budget balanced despite Hinsdale Middle School expenses

Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 has a proposed 2014-15 balanced budget, despite an unexpected $2.2 million expense last spring to repair mold and water problems at Hinsdale Middle School.

Gary Frisch, the district’s assistant superintendent for business and operations, said a $300,000 contingency placed in the 2013-14 budget didn’t come close to covering the HMS repair bills. However, being in good financial shape over the past several years allowed for the extra $2.2 million expense to be absorbed without creating a crisis.

“We have recovered from that and are in good shape,” Frisch said. “By board policy, we are supposed to have a fund balance of 30 to 50 percent (of the total budget), and we’re at 38.2 percent.”

Frisch said the 2014-15 budget has a much-reduced contingency of $40,000.

He explained the budget is considered balanced when anticipated revenues for operating funds are equal to or greater than projected expenditures.

Operating funds account for a large majority of the total budget; debt service is a major area that is not part of operating funds, Frisch said.

Projected operating fund expenditures for 2014-15 are $59.8 million, down $1 million from $60.8 in 2013-14. Projected 2014-15 operating fund revenues are $60.9 million, the same as the previous year.

The total 2014-15 budget has projected expenses of $68.6 million, compared to $68.8 million in actual expenses for 2013-14. The projected 2014-15 revenues of $68.5 million are up slightly from $68.1 million in actual expenses for 2013-14.

“Usually the revenues would be up a bit more than that, but we $400,000 in an insurance reimbursement for the water intrusion, and we had $400,000 in donations last year, which is something you can’t count on each year,” Frisch said.

About 91 percent of the district’s revenues are funded by property taxes. The remaining funds come from state aid, 4 percent; other local fees and taxes, 3 percent; and federal aid, 2 percent.

The district’s expenses are divided mainly among salaries, 69 percent; employee benefits, 16 percent; purchase services, 8 percent; supplies and materials, 4 percent; capital outlay, 2 percent; and other objects, such as tuition payments to other institutions, 1 percent.

Salaries are up 3.22 percent, or $1.29 million from 2013-14; however, employee benefits have decreased by 3.05 percent, or about $300,000 due to increased contributions from employees, Frisch said.

The largest projected expense for capital outlay in 2014-15 is about $500,000 for the replacement of teachers’ laptop computers.

A budget hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8, and the District 181 Board is to vote on budget approval Sept. 22.

Frisch said he is keeping his eyes and ears on Senate Bill 116, which has passed the Illinois Senate and is expected to be considered by the House by the end of 2014.

That bill, he said, would result in the distribution of less state aid for more affluent school districts, including District 181, in favor of giving more state funding to poor districts.

“We would lose about $1.6 (million) out of the $2.5 million we get from the state,” Frisch said. “It would most likely phase in over three years if it goes through, and it would be up to our board to decide how to make up for that loss of revenue.”

0 Comments

Do you have the scariest house on the block? Or the cutest kid in costume? Share your Halloween photos with us! Click here to submit them.


Modal