The Richardton-Taylor School Board approved the district's general fund budget for the 2019-2020 school year.

The district's total expenditures are budgeted at $5.5 million, and its total revenues are estimated to be $5.1 million. The fund had a beginning balance of $1.3 million. After factoring in estimated expenditures and revenues, the fund will have a balance of $864,834.

The district's taxable valuation is $13.1 million, which is up from last year's $12.7 million.

The district will likely also receive more oil and gas production money, though it is impossible to predict for certain how much, as it fluctuates based on variables such as pricing.

"In oil and gas revenue, we had about $663,000 last year. Just this last month, we got paid $65,000 for one month. If you take that times 12, you get $780,000, but we just stayed with $665,000," Superintendent Brent Bautz told the school board.

It will also receive almost $200,000 more foundation aid from the state. Unlike Dickinson Public Schools, Richardton-Taylor's increase does not come from an increase in students, as their student enrollment numbers didn't differ greatly from the previous year.

"Last year, we were at $2,526,500. Now we’re at $2,728,586. That is due to the change in the deduct. If you remember, since we have a debt, our deduct went from 75% down to 67%," Bautz told the board.

The superintendent and business manager will now begin working on the building fund and sinking and interest budgets.

In other news, Bautz and Kim Dressler, business manager, told the board about an account they opened with Bremer Bank.

They moved $900,000 from their Dakota Community savings account into a savings account at Bremer for a .25% increase in interest rate.

Dressler said the money to pay off the building construction will come from the Bremer account, while the operations costs will come from the Dakota Community account.

In principal reports, Secondary Principal Misti Vogle informed the board that the junior high and high school STEM students (science, engineering, technology and mathematics) will be in grant competitions through the University of North Dakota.

Elementary Principal Jennifer Jung told the board that the school's fourth grade students will begin a recycling program.

“Four 4th graders came to me and asked if we can start a recycling program here … They are going to start down in the 4-6. They got boxes; they decorated them. They collect and bring it to me, and I take it to Dickinson to recycle it. Their goal is to possibly get other boxes upstairs next,” she said.

Elementary Principal Scott Bohn told the board that they hope to get more information about the new playground project after Oct. 22.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article stated that the interest rate at Bremer was between 1.75% and 1.50% better than the interest rate at Dakota Community Bank. That has been corrected to read 0.25%.