By Alan Sorensen
The Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees unanimously approved the final budget recommendation for the 1999-00 school year at a noon meeting Monday.
District Clerk Ric Floren explained that the combined general fund budgets for the elementary and high school districts will be pretty much unchanged from last year. The elementary budget is at the 100 percent level and cant go up, while the high school budget still falls well short of 100 percent.
The elementary budget will be down about $54,000 and the high school budget will be up about $54,000, so the totals the same, he said.
The high school general fund budget is $3,660436 and the elementary budget stands at $5,882,278.
Floren also said that the Havre districts are better prepared than most districts in the state to absorb recently lost revenues. District revenues are down as a result of lower motor vehicle taxes, reduced oil and gas prices and production, and delinquent taxes. The problem of lost revenues is magnified, he said, because utilities and salaries havent gone down.
Floren added that enrollment will be key to next years budget.
Declining enrollment and reduced taxes make it difficult, he said, but Havre is in better shape than most districts.
Floren said that, in the future, three budget items that used to qualify as permissive levy issues will have to go to the voters. Those budget items are the transportation, bus depreciation, and adult education funds.
Havres elementary and high school reserves are nearly at the 10 percent level, the maximum allowable by state law. Floren said he gets uncomfortable if the reserves fall below 8 percent because that money is needed to meet payrolls and expenses.
The final budget calls for the district to maintain the same number of mills in FY00 as in FY99, with identical totals of 169.11 mills.
In other action Monday, trustees approved changes to their work calendar for the 1999-00 school year and a bus route extension of 3.6 miles per day.
The route extension will be for a kindergarten student who lives in the Laredo area.
The next regular board of trustees meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, at Havre Middle School.