Board hears budget estimates

PLYMOUTH — The Ply-mouth School Board adopted the 2011 budget, the capital projects plan and the bus replacement plan during its meeting this week.
The board held a workshop Aug. 19 on the matter and then advertised the budget and plans both Aug. 20 and Aug. 27. A public hearing was held at the last school board meeting Sept. 2.
The budget was set at $33,370,294. Assistant Sup-erintendent Rodger Smith said, “This goes to the Department of Govern-ment Financing and we anticipate cuts.”
The capital projects plan was submitted for $4,391,410.
Smith explained that it is a three-year plan with 2011 being a fixed amount and 2012-13 estimated.
“We expect considerable cuts,” he said.
Formerly, the bus re-placement plan was on a 10-year schedule; however, the state switched it to a 12-year plan. Smith said the schools anticipate purchasing two full-size buses and one smaller bus at a total of $229,933.
In other news:
• The board voted unanimously to appoint Jennifer Robinson as a physical education teacher at both Menominee and Washington Elementary Schools. Robinson replaces John Scott, who was named Assistant Athletic Director at the last board meeting Sept. 2. At the Sept. 13 meeting, the board also approved his transfer to Lincoln Junior High as a language arts teacher.
• Dave Schoof, maintenance director, informed the board that the total utility operating costs per square foot for the corporation currently is $1.10. He said the cost in 2008 was $1.87 and 2009 was $1.31.
The board hears a maintenance and facilities report each year. During his report, Schoof talked about the strategic plan for maintenance, personnel and staffing needs, equipment repair and commissioning and capital projects.
He said the department has closed 1,785 maintenance tickets compared to 1,552 work orders in 2009.
He noted, “The 1,785 shows a 13 percent increase while using less staff.”
Although the state only requires an inspection every three years by the state fire inspector, Schoof has teamed up with Plymouth Fire Chief Andy Metsker to perform an annual walk-through. “It’s an extra pair of eyes for us,” Schoof said.
Emphasis for the future will be on participating in the Indiana Coalition of Quality Schools, utility management, green cleaning practices and enhanced employee safety training, according to Schoof.
“All of the summer projects were completed on time and on budget,” he said.
After the meeting, Schoof said the schools are anticipating an increase in utility costs from NIPSCO for 2011.
• The board discussed the first reading of a revised corporation vision statement. No action was taken; however, board members commented favorably on the proposed statement.