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Budget approved

Mountainburg School Board members approved the budget for the 2013-14 school year and the architect for upcoming construction projects during their Sept. 16 meeting.

Mountainburg’s budget for the district began the school year with a balance of $1,003,397.90, which was $116,687.33 more than the beginning balance for the 2012-13 school year, said Superintendent Dennis Copeland.

If the schools spend every penny of allocated monies - something Copeland said is not likely - the projected year-end balance for the district is $802,710.44, he said.

A large portion of money that will come in and go out of the district finances will go toward needed maintenance projects, including plumbing, roofing, electrical, and heating and air-conditioning.

Mountainburg voters approved in the recent school elections a renewal of the school millage at Mountainburg. The vote will extend the 14.1 mills property tax, keeping the school millage at 39.1 mills.

The millage will go for restructured bonds to pay for updates and maintenance projects at the district’s elementary, middle and high schools, Copeland said.

Mountainburg has been approved for a state matching grant for the projects totaling about $4.7 million, with the school district paying 34 percent of the project costs - a total of about $1.6 million.

Board members approved MAHG Architecture to begin the design process for the renovations and oversee construction at the three schools in 2013-2015, Copeland said.

Also at the September meeting, board members approved their Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Plan and Title VIB application.

The ACSIP includes information on all the school districts plans for the year, such as funding, budgets, technology purchases, professional development and the school’s Alternative Learning Environment. Title VIB provides funding for the special education department.

Board members approved the only bid received for propane costs, which was $1,499 from Anderson Gas and Propane.

A legislatively required resolution regarding employees receiving a more than 5 percent raise also was approved. The resolution was necessary, Copeland said, because of three employees whose job descriptions changed from paraprofessionals to full-time teachers.

Resignations were accepted from Kathryn Mann as cook and Toni Adams as special education paraprofessional. Board members approved the hire of Pamela Baldwin as cook, and of Glenda Vanourny, Bill McCarver and Sarah Center as special education paraprofessionals, retroactive to Sept. 11.

Two items were added to the Sept. 16 meeting agenda. Board members approved policy updates required because of new state laws, and a bond resolution amending the issuance and delivery of bonds.

The bond resolution states that Mountainburg School District will make its bond payments 15 days prior to the due date, Copeland said. This allows the bank holding the bond to save money and puts the school district in good standing with that bank, giving it a better chance to sell bonds to local banks in the future, he said.

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