RSU 9 committee reports favorable budget health

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FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 Director Irving Faunce of Wilton presented a Personnel and Finance Committee update to the board Tuesday, Oct. 9.

“We’ve started an education process with Business Manager Kris Pottle to understand monthly financial statements and the components we need to track and be aware of,” Faunce, the committee chairman, said.

During the Sept. 25 meeting, Faunce reported the discovery of an estimated $230,000 in unbudgeted expenditures this fiscal year. A $184,748 buffer had been identified due to hiring new employees at a lower rate than those they replaced.

The committee is charged with developing and implementing a transparent budget and expenditure reporting process, and providing regular updates on personnel functions.

“On each monthly financial report, there is a line that shows what percentage of the budget has been utilized and what remains,” Faunce explained.

He said the report issued at the end of September showed 79.6 percent of the budget remained unspent.

“Just about all line items were in that neighborhood, so we are in very good shape,” reported Faunce.

“We also walked through staff leave request requirements which has caused some confusion and a little disruption,” Faunce said.

Several leave request issues were identified by the committee last month.

Currently, Superintendent Tina Meserve reviews leave requests on a case by case basis, Faunce said.

“We are going into a new system that will be much more consistent, fair, and will follow contract wording,” Faunce said.

Director Angela LeClair of Wilton reported on Sports Boosters activities.

“The biggest thing is this year the Boosters paid for football jerseys. It was a huge expense. It was $7,000 and not a cost the school has to incur at all,” LeClair said.

In the past, athletes purchased the two required jerseys at a cost of $85 each.

“Between May and September, the boosters spent $23,558 on equipment and uniforms. We recognize how that is helpful to the district, especially with budget concerns,” LeClair added.

The biggest challenge facing the boosters is a need for volunteers.

“We just hope the word gets out there that we always need new volunteer and new members. If you help with the boosters, it’s helping the district and helping the students,” said LeClair.

The boosters meet on the first Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the Mt. Blue Campus library.

In other matters, Meserve noted a School Safety Forum would be held on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Mt. Blue Campus, 129 Seamon Rd.

“The School Safety Committee will share what the school and the community is doing to work together to make sure our schools are safe,” Meserve said.

 dmenear@thefranklinjournal.com

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