PCSD approves FY12 budget | ParkRecord.com

PCSD approves FY12 budget

Megan Yeiter, The Park Record

The Park City Board of Education met on June 21 and approved its fiscal year 2011-2012 budget.

Patty Murphy, Park City School District Business Administrator, said the numbers for the General Fund are close to what was expected.

Murphy said district-wide spending reaches $60 million annually.

According to the budget plan, revenues come into the General Fund from local property taxes as well as state and federal sources.

Estimated General Fund revenues for FY12 consist of $36.8 million in local sources, $2.7 million in state sources and $1.1 million in federal sources. The projected revenue for the coming year is $40,722,908 with projected expenditures expected to reach more than $43 million.

Murphy explained that the district shifted $1.5 million in Capital Outlay taxes along with $1.6 million from Basic Fund to come up with the money to balance the General Fund.

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According to school board member Lisa Kirchenheiter, "This is a wise course that we’re taking and I hope we aren’t here next year in the same place."

The General Fund for next year will see revenue decreases of $430,657 from local sources, $556,798 from state sources and $622,330 from federal sources.

Regarding salaries for next year, classified and Administrative employees have settled with the school board and will receive small increases (2 to 4 percent) in salary and benefits.

Licensed employee contract negotiations are on hold until August. However, Murphy said if those employees were to receive salary or employee benefit changes, General Fund expenditures could increase by more than half a million.

Revenues for the Capital Project Fund are projected to reach more than $5.7 million, up $524,691 (10 percent) from last year. However, expenditures for the Capital Projects Fund is estimated to reach more than $10.3 million, up more than $2.4 million or 31 percent from FY10 11.

Murphy said there will be renovations at Parley’s Park and the bus lane at the PCHS will be replaced in addition to the usual maintenance projects that make up some of the costs in the Capital Project Fund.

According to Murphy, the total General Fund balance for last year was $12.6 million with a projected fund balance of $9.4 million for FY12.

Murphy explained that the district has a savings account, which includes $2.1 million in Economic Stabilization and $5.1 million from the Unassigned category. Adding these funds together will give the district two months worth of money as a safety net.

With several changes, Murphy explained "After the transfers the General Fund balance will remain at approximately $7.3 million, which just meets the suggested savings for two months of expenditures."

The board’s concern is that revenues will continue to drop. In Murphy’s opinion, state funding is shifting from smaller districts that are not growing to the larger Wasatch districts.

Several community members expressed their concerns about over-spending during the public comment portion of the meeting.

PCSD Board President Moe Hickey warned them that the good times are over.

"I don’t see any developments that are going to increase tax revenues. The reality from my perspective, these times are here for the foreseeable future," Hickey said.

Hickey said that state funds have gone down 80 percent since he joined the school board two years ago.

According to Murphy, the real story, this year, is all about revenue, with local, state and federal revenues all declining.

Hickey added, "We have to look at all the tools available to us at the moment. We need to look at every line item in this district. But the goal is that they can’t affect student learning or student goals."

"These figures reflect what is going on. The point is that we don’t want to be below two months of expenditures. The board is faced with these decisions. Shifting money from one fund or another or an increase in taxes," Murphy said.

According to school board member Anne Bransford, it’s bad business to spend more than you have coming in. Bransford said she’s willing to go line-by-line with fellow board members to find where they can manage to make cuts.

"We have tools in our box and I’m a big proponent on obtaining revenue funds. This is the end of the line for this kind of stuff. The party is over," Bransford said.

Michael Boyle, vice president of the school board added, "I’m not playing down the difficult situation we’re in, but this isn’t too surprising in any economy. We just need to do what we need to do this year to not be in this situation next year."