The Finance Committee is continuing its review of the FY20 budget sections.
The School Superintendent and Finance Director presented information about the Elementary School budget. This budget is $23,838,854, an increase of $596,489 or 2.6%, compared to FY19. Most adjustments are driven by enrollment changes, not financial issues. The largest percent of the budget is for regular education, with special education the next highest. Health insurance for current and retired employees make up 18% of the budget. This is in addition to pensions. Changes have been made to the health insurance plans to better control costs. Charter tuition reimbursement from the state continues to be a problem. Sharing a procurement officer and changing the food service to in-house have also helped control costs. Guidelines and timelines for future budgets should be established.
The Library Director presented information about the Jones Library FY20 budget. This budget is $2,655,699, a slight decrease from FY19. The municipal share is $2,043,302, a 2.5% increase from last year. This accounts for 75% of the Jones budget. The Jones is a combined public, private entity. It uses interest from its endowment, fund raising, and other sources to support its budget. The Trustees voted to use a 4.6% draw from the endowment for FY20 but would like to keep the draw rate at 4%. Two positions remain unfilled. The Friends of the Jones and Jones, Inc have merged their fundraising.
Resident appointments to the Finance Committee were discussed briefly. The Councilors would like to have these appointments made by July 1, 2019.