GCSD Board discusses upcoming budget


TORRINGTON – The Goshen County School District Board held a work session on Monday to discuss the preliminary budget for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Trustees Matt Cushman and Michael Sussex were absent, and Trustee Katherine Patrick participated via Zoom. 

Business Manager Marcy Cates went over the budget at the end of the fiscal year in comparison to the projection. According to Cates, the school will end with a positive $1,326,576 or 18.19%. 

One of the major differences came from health insurance which was budgeted $400,000 more than was actually spent. 

“Health insurance is very difficult because when I’m budgeting some of the conditions are filled number one, and number two we haven’t had a chance to visit with the new people,” Cates said. “So I am budgeting potentially at the familiy insurance rate and the individual may choose to not even take insurance.” 

Cates added revenues is projected to finish $1,000,000 higher than the budget. 

Some of the other outliers according to Cates included technology which was about $100,000 short and the business down $25,000 due to not needing as much paper. Culminating event travel and officials also came in lower in the projection due to less travel this year. 

Cates also discussed the cash reserves and said there are parameters but the board does have control of general fund dollars for projects. The general fund is also where teacher salaries come from which Cates said is the major focus when discussing salary funds. The current total of cash reserves for the 2022 fiscal year is $6,216,156. 

In terms of the 2023 projections, Cates said she expects to end the year at $30,934,393 in total revenues and projects to receive $30,349,941. 

For the 2023, preliminary budget, Cates highlighted an increase in the base salary as well as an increase in new positions and retirement. Health insurance is expected to be static with the current budget. 

Cates said the school is expected to purchase three buses and can either buy them outright or lease them. 

Utilities increased to 15% due to natural gas and oil while the technology line will stay the same at $350,000. 

The central administration line increased from $109,005 to $235,000 because of potential Title IX training and the possibility of an additional student resource officer in the district. 

The preliminary budget leaves $231,582 after expenses which can be used for other potential costs. The other costs include cost of steps movement for staff salaries ($250,175), cost of lane movements for staff salaries ($50,000), increase of health insurance by 6% (291,522) and a 1% increase to the base salary ($136,182). Chairman Zach Miller noted it would cost an extra $700,000 dollars to include the other potential costs. 

The board also discussed teacher salaries and the balance between benefits and the salary. According to Miller, the district is more top heavy on benefits but newer teachers tend to prefer higher salaries. 

The Salary Relations committee will meet on April 11 for further discussion on staff salaries and the next regular meeting is Tuesday, April 12, at 7 p.m.

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