I would like to inform the public of positive news related to the closing of Garfield County School District’s budget fiscal year. We have calculated projected expenses for the rest of May and the through the end of June. If the projections remain true, the District will end this fiscal year a positive balance. The District will not need to borrow any monies from additional accounts, like capital for example, to break even this year. As you may be aware, this positive balance has not been in place for several fiscal years, in fact the District had to borrow from capital last year to break even. The best estimates at this point indicate approximately a $500,000 surplus to end the year. Many changes have happened over this year with some of the largest being staffing reductions and District employees sacrificing a 4% reduction in pay and decreased benefits. I would like to thank the employees for the willingness to make these difficult adjustments in order to bring the finances back in the black. Many employees have also been transferred or taken additional responsibilities at no additional compensation; to all these employees I am truly grateful. I also need to thank Maloy Dodds for his effort in preparing the budget which allowed us to end the year with a positive balance. You may be asking if we have this surplus of funds, ‘what is the District going to do with it’? The answer is: prepare for the day when the District does not receive Secure Rural School (SRS) monies from the Federal government. The SRS money is sometimes referred to as Forest Service monies. The SRS funds have not been approved for the new fiscal year and relate to approximately $600,000. We are in the process of developing a budget without SRS funding in place. If we receive the funding after the budget is adopted, we can make adjustments at that point in time, but to build this amount into our new budget with hopes that we receive this money in the future would be very detrimental to the District if the funds were not approved. We will have both the ending budget and proposed new budget for next year ready for the public to view in the first part of June. The School Board will be closing this fiscal year and adopting a new budget on June 14th at Bryce Valley High School at 5:00PM. We will have a public hearing to adopt this budget and we would encourage anyone interested to attend the meeting.
–Ben Dalton, Superintendent