Demopolis City School System passes budget

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 22, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The Board of Education passed the 2007-2008 fiscal year budget at their meeting on Sept. 10, after holding two budget hearings for the public.

The bond issue funds awarded from both the state and the Black Belt Schools Supplemental Allocation this year, which came to a total of $3,292,688, were not included in the system&8217;s budget.

According to Agee, the rationale is not to include the funds until they have been made available in December, which is when they can include them with an amendment.

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Agee said preliminary plans are to use the bond issue funds for capital outlay projects, such as the new stadium project.

Superintendent Wayne Vickers said the funds could also be used for funding the addition at Westside Elementary School or anything included in the capital plan, which will be presented at the next board meeting on Oct. 15.

Another point of interest in the budget is with 10.9 percent increase of the total budget. The percentage is higher due to the increase in the payout for the system&8217;s insurance and benefits program through Blue Cross and Blue Shield, known as PEEHIP. The payout went from $8,604 last year to $9,300 this year.

According to Agee, 76 percent of the budget is used for salaries, which covers 164 employees between four schools and the central office.

Furthermore, according to legislation passed two years ago, all schools in the state of Alabama must have at least one month&8217;s supply of operating funds on reserve at all times. Currently, Demopolis City Schools has a projected balance by Oct. 1 in the general fund of $2,973.

According to Agee, one month of operating costs for the system is approximately $1.33 million.