Budget, land exchange on school board agenda


Following a public hearing, the Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education approved the budget for the coming school year.
Superintendent Mark Lenihan presented numbers for the total budget, General Fund, tax asking and district levy.
Lenihan said that there is an increase of $459,00 in the tax asking, mainly due to an increase in the amount the district is putting into the Building Fund.
"The General Fund asking is actually lower than it was last year. However, because we need to make improvements in several areas within the school, we needed to add money to the building fund," Lenihan said.
He went on to explain the amount of money earmarked for cash reserves and the fact that the district has approximately eight years left to pay on construction bonds from previous building projects.
The total levy for the district for the coming year is $1.1273, which includes the General Fund, Bond Fund, Building Fund and Qualified Capitol Projects Fund.
Board members extended a thank you to Lenihan, Rochelle Nelson and Diane Peters for their work over the last four months on the budget.
In other action, the board discussed a land exchange between the City of Wayne and Wayne Community Schools.
The land is located on Fifth Street, near where the former Elementary School was located and in the vicinity of the Community Activity Center.
Discussion was held, with board members noting they would prefer the traffic in the area being one-way.
Superintendent Lenihan and Eric Knutsen, the school's attorney, will continue to work with the city on the details of the exchange.
The board approved several changes in the bus route stops.
It was noted that the present stop at the Bus Barn on Lincoln Street is not being used and will be eliminated. It was also noted that two stops will be made along Providence Road - one on the west side of the street and the other at the Sunnyview Park Shelter.
Superintendent Lenihan presented enrollment numbers for the district. He noted that at the present time there are 911 students enrolled pre-K through 12th grade.
Dr. Lindsay McLaughlin, Wayne Community Schools Foundation Director, told the board that the recent Gift-A-Thon raised just over $25,000 for the district. She said the Blitz Night went well, with students enjoying the evening. Donations are still coming in toward the event.
Board member Dr. Jeryl Nelson, representing the Negotiations Committee, told the board that the district comparability study has been received, with the Wayne Community Schools significantly above average. Nelson said the main reason for this was due to increases in the cost of health insurance for the teachers.
"Insurance is a big issue for the district. It costs over $1 million per year for teachers alone in our district," Nelson said.
The district has switch to a two-year negotiation system and will continue to do traditional negotiations. A meeting between the district and the teachers will need to take place by Nov. 1.
The Wayne Community Schools Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, Oct. 10. The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a tour of the Elementary School and the regular meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the junior-senior high library.