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District 304 eyes $93M budget for 2013-2014

Published: Friday, July 26, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

GENEVA – Geneva District 304 is proposing a budget of nearly $93 million in revenue with nearly $92 million in expenditures for the 2013-14 school year.

At a presentation this week, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Donna Oberg  offered a summery of the tentative budget. The school board is expected to adopt the budget after a public hearing Aug. 26.

Included in the proposed spending plan is the expectation of a levy increase of 1.5 percent, based on the consumer price index, a decrease in student fees, elimination of the $375,000 Readiness and Emergency Management grant and $20,000 from the Kane County Riverboat grant, which was used for a drug prevention program, Oberg said.

It also figures in an 82 percent reduction in general state aid. 

“I don’t know if it’s going to come down that far,” Oberg said. “But that is what I have it at on the budget.”

The proposed budget’s expenditures also includes salary increases per contract agreements, increased costs for  insurance and retirement savings, but a decrease in homeless transportation cost. 

By the district’s major funds, or divisions in spending, the education fund budget shows $56.3 million in expenditures, revenues of $58.2 million and a surplus of almost $2 million.

Oberg said whatever surplus the district has under budget will be used for abatements.

Operations and maintenance shows spending at $12.2 million with revenue at $10 million, a shortfall of about $2 million that will be covered by reserves, she said.

Another savings will be $1.4 million in retirees’ salaries going away, but hiring to replace them will cost $750,000, Oberg said.

The transportation fund revenue is nearly $7 million, its expenditures are at $3.4 million with a surplus revenue of more than $3.3 million. The surplus is because of the bus buy-back program, she said.

The bus buy-back is an annual contract with a bus sales company where they buy back the buses at the end of the school year for a set amount. 

Debt service is $17.3 million in expenses, $15.2 million in revenue for a shortfall of nearly $2.2 million, she said. The district abates or reduces taxes to be levied back to residents to try to keep the debt service at a lower level. Oberg said the goal was to keep it at about $16 million. 

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