October 30, 2014

All Access Press Club (Subscribers)

Online all-access is free to print subscribers. Username is your account number, 7-digit number before the expiration date on your mailing label. Password is your zip code.

S-D capital budget cut somewhat alleviated by state PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chandra L. Mattingly   
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 11:29 PM

The budget cut Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corporation received from the state could have been worse.
Initially, it was, said S-D Director of Financial Services Charles Blake. The $4.45 million budget S-D sought for capital projects in 2013 was slashed to $1.3 million by the state, he said.

“I appealed immediately,” he said, explaining the corporation would not have been able to do needed maintenance and repairs to its buildings.

His appeal was successful. Now the state will let S-D spend $3.265 million on capital projects in 2013, said Blake.

Meanwhile, although assessed valuation in Ripley County has remained stable, the AV in Dearborn County has been dropping, said Blake.

“There's still a huge number of houses in foreclosure or already bank owned,” he said.
Properties have been selling for much less than their value, which then affects the value of other homes in the area.

“There's nothing we can do except wait for the market to absorb all those houses,” said Blake. He expects the turnaround to be two or more years away.

And it will be the end of April before schools know what the state will provide this year for education funding, he said.

In good news, however, Blake said S-D's general fund had a $1.35 million cash balance at the end of January. He was expecting test book reimbursements from the state, which pays just under 75 cents on the dollar, within the week, and reimbursements for other funds also were due within days.

The S-D Schools Endowment Corporation pays $30 toward books for each first grade and up student and a little less for kindergarten students, said Blake.

“That's a big plus, that really helps the corporation a lot,” he said. The endowment corporation is funded with riverboat gambling sharing revenue.