WACO will request more spending authority
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
WAYLAND — While probably not quite as important as cash on hand, a school district’s spending authority is crucial to the district’s solvency.
Spending authority does not mean cash on hand, nor does it increase property taxation. Rather, it’s akin to a credit card as the authority would be identical to the spending limit on a credit card. Iowa school districts cannot exceed their spending authority.
WACO is basing its request on increased enrollment for the 2016-17 school year, a change in the number of students open enrolled out of the district and an adjustment in the number of ELL (English language learners) students.
All three areas add up to a request to the School Budget Review Committee for an additional $124,977.50 in spending authority.
“You want to do this,” Superintendent Jeff Dicks told the board. “You are educating more kids this year (13.4 students), and you won’t get the (additional) money until the next school year. You want the additional spending authority. It really doesn’t affect anything but the authority is critical. It is very unusual to qualify in all three areas.”
Directors approved new lighting for the district’s two buildings, okayed a contract for roof repair to the two attendance centers and purchased six buses coming off lease and sold four of those buses to neighboring districts.
EPO Energy received the contract over three other bidders for new LED lighting in both buildings. EPO’s bid was $14,294.91 for the elementary school and $15,696,71 for the junior-senior high school for a total bid of $29,991.62. After rebates, the total cost is $14,995.81. The price includes installation.
Bids on the lighting project ranged upward to $66,579.50.
Roofing repair bids went to Cedar Services and Modern Building. Cedar Services will handle the elementary roof project for $81,353, and Modern Buildings will receive $111,150 for the junior-senior high school roof. The total tab will be $192,503, or just a shade over an estimated $190,000 for the work.
The work is part of a five-year roof replacement project for the district’s two buildings, which began last year. Work will begin this spring at the elementary school in Crawfordsville and over the summer at the secondary building in Wayland.
WACO has six buses coming off a three-year lease and the district opted to purchase all six at a cost of $321,000. Four of the buses will be sold — two to the Washington Community School District and the other two to Columbus Community Schools (Columbus Junction). The buses will be sold for $53,500 each, or a total of $214,000.
In the lone other business item, the district approved a contract for Dennis Donaldson for snow removal at the district’s attendance centers. Donaldson, who also had the contract last year, will be paid $350 per snow removal. He will begin operations when over two inches of snow fall. Donaldson’s bid includes two “pushes” of snow in one snowfall. If snow persists and requires three visits to remove snow, the district will be billed another $350.
Coleman Construction, of Washington, also submitted a bid of $425 for the work.
In his report, Dicks said the special education census is down 8.35 students (number of students includes “weighting”). “It’s not a bad thing that the count is down. You have run the program very efficiently and you will be fine.”
District directors meet again in regular session Monday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 p.m., in the media center at the secondary building.