Bessemer school approves budget
BESSEMER - The Bessemer Area Schools Board of Education approved its budget for next year, which officials say is moving the district's finances in the right direction.
"Property taxes came in higher than budgeted, because the property values have gone up in Bessemer," Christine Bergquist, business manager, said. "So that really helped our budget."
The 2013-14 general fund came in at about $88,000 under budget.
That increased the assigned fund balance, which is used to pay off long-term debt, by about 25 percent.
However, the anticipated fund balance is expected to drop to about $114,000 by June 30, 2015, from about $173,500 where it currently stands.
The athletic budget will be about the same, and the school's food services budget will operate at less of a deficit next year than it did over the current year.
"We had supplemented the food services budget (from the general fund) by $19,000 last year ... so this year it's at $7,000," district administrator Dave Radovich said. "And if we wouldn't have had the retirements we would have been in the black, considerably in the black. So we're moving in the right direction."
The school had five employees retire within the last year.
The food services budget saw a deficit of about $7,700 over the 2013-14 year, but next year is currently budgeted to operate at a deficit of $2,200.
"We're only going to have one full-time at cook, and the assistant cook will only be four hours with no health insurance," board member Annette Lillie said.
The biggest impact on the school's budget was a cut in special education payments from the Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District, but the Bessemer School District is dropping its expenditures to match.
Next year's revenues and expenditures are expected to be lower than the 2013-14 year by about $200,000, but nothing is set in stone yet.
"Governor Snyder has not signed anything into law so at this point it still could be changed," Bergquist said. "So I billed it based upon the information that we have."