Mantua – At a recent School Board meeting, the Board unanimously approved the Five-Year Forecast for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2013 through 2017. Crestwood District Treasurer, Jill Rowe, proposed the forecast. In calculating the Forecast, Ms. Rowe made several assumptions based on the current state of the economy. First, the District does not anticipate increased revenue resulting from reappraisals. The forecast also assumes that General Property Tax will remain at the same levels through 2016.
In November of 2012, Crestwood District voters approved a 4.7 Mill, 4-year Emergency Operating Levy, which adds $1,400,000 per year to the forecast. For 2013, it is estimated that $700,000 will be collected as a result of the levy. The forecast also assumes that General Property Tax will remain at the same levels through 2016, with half the Levy funding decreasing in fiscal year 2017. The Board authorized Ms. Rowe to submit the forecast and assumptions to the Ohio Department of Education, as required by law.
In other news, Crestwood District received a $28,000 National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program Expansion Grant from the Ohio Department of Education. The District will use this grant to implement a new Point of Sale system in the cafeterias, replacing traditional cash registers. The grant will provide all but slightly over $1,000 needed to cover the project.
The new system will allow families to pay for and monitor balances online, as well as monitor their student’s purchasing habits. “Another nice feature of the system,” stated Ms. Rowe, “is that it ensures the students’ meal status privacy, whether they are full-pay, free or at a reduced charge. We are hoping this encourages more students to take advantage of the free and reduced lunch option.”
It’s important to note that students will still be able to pay cash for purchases, as they have in the past. Students at the Primary who participate in the new system will use a swipe card, while students in all other buildings will use a twelve-key-PIN pad located near the end of the serving line, similar to a banking ATM. To prevent fraud, the first time a student uses the system, the register will take a digital image of the student. The resulting image will appear on the monitor for the cashier to see every time the student accesses their account.
Furthermore, the Board also approved Phase One funding for an agreement with Chevron Energy Solutions. Phase one will incorporate much-needed facility improvements to the District’s four school buildings, Bus Garage, and Fieldhouse. Improvements include, but are not limited to lighting retrofits, roof replacements, repairs and upgrades to heating systems, and updates to the Districts automation systems.
To finance these improvements, money will be re-allocated from both the Permanent Improvement and Classroom Facility Funds. In addition, Chevron’s agreement with the District guarantees energy savings based on the improvements made. If the District does not realize these anticipated energy savings, Chevron is obligated to pay the difference.
The Board approved procurement of a loan for $2.1 million to pay the remainder of the costs of Phase One. “The whole concept behind the plan is this,” explains Ms. Rowe. “What the District saves on energy costs, as a result of the updates, will provide 80% of the loan payments, making it a much less risky undertaking for the District. And once the infrastructure is structurally sound, the District will be in a good position to make additions or renovations in the future, based on long-term strategic plans,” summed up Ms. Rowe.
The next Crestwood School Board meeting will be held in the Music Room at Crestwood Primary School on July 1 at 7 pm.