School board to review budgets

The Dickinson Public School (DPS) Board had a busy July board meeting Monday evening. The school board had several reports and updates on programs, projects and funds presented. Also electing of board president and vice president yielded the same...

The Dickinson Public School (DPS) Board had a busy July board meeting Monday evening.

The school board had several reports and updates on programs, projects and funds presented.

Also electing of board president and vice president yielded the same results as previous years. Dean Rummel remains board president while Mitzi Swenson continues as vice president.

A review of the budget and the fiscal year's financial report was one of several items of the evening.

The 2006-2007 budget closed with the district's revenue 2.13 percent more than its budgeted estimate while the expenditures were only .24 percent over budget.


DPS Business Manager Vince Reep said the revenue's percent was due to several things including "adding the biennium for state funding, higher interest rates and greater return on our investments."

It was a wonderful year to close, he added.

Revenues exceeded expenditures by approximately $229,479 which Reep said was then put into the interim fund.

"We needed to boost the interim fund a little to have the wherewithal to have transactions go without any hitches (during this year's budget)," he added.

Transferring funds from the general fund to the capital projects fund and food services fund also was done. The board approved transferring $400,000 from the general fund to capital projects and $20,000 to food service.

Approximately $250,000 of the $400,000 will go to the Hagen air quality project in order for it to be paid in total within a year or less.

"This way we won't have to stretch the mill levy out by paying for it over several years," Reep said.

Food service is receiving the $20,000 in order to not go in the red and be able to start out their budget year in the black, Reep said.


"This way they will be $13,000 in the black and will have the money for whatever comes up," he added. "This gives them the chance to start off the year better."

The 2007-2008 budget year is already looking good.

"At this point, with our estimates on where the taxable evaluation would come in the number we're using is 3.79," Reep said. "Nearly four mills could be reduced in next year's budget and that's good news. We are pretty sure it will be close to that or even a little higher."

The annual financial report also was approved by the school board.

There was a 4.4 percent increase seen for the district's cost per pupil during the 2006-2007 fiscal year compared to the previous year.

"We are lower than the state average so I feel this is really good for the Dickinson community," he added. "They are getting their bang for the buck for what it costs to educate a child.

The building projects discussed by the board Monday evening included quite a few major projects either in progress or completed.

P.S. Berg Elementary School received street handicap accessibility and all bathrooms are currently being retiled.


Jefferson Elementary School is getting a new boiler system with two units being put in and Heart River Elementary is being completely re-carpeted. Heart River also is getting work done on its west gym roof later this month.

Lincoln Elementary School has an old girl's locker room being converted into a conference room and three heater replacements to be installed.

Hagen Junior High School and Dickinson High School (DHS) both have several bigger projects being done this summer.

The junior high's girl shower room is being redone, but it is the air quality system which will give the school an air conditioning and heating system throughout for the first time. Progress for the new system is going well.

"They've already pressured up the system on the top floor so the third floor is done," Reep said. "They want to start testing and balancing the entire system beginning August 1."

The school board was excited to hear students could get to enter into a cool environment at the beginning of this school year.

Hagen's first floor also is getting new carpet and Hagen's outdoor field is being worked on. Reep and others are hopeful activity groups can return there this fall.

DHS's gym floor has been stripped, repainted and changed into a bright room. New bleachers are being installed this week.


The new bleachers will not include a rail, but will have one section going all the way up to the top, Reep said.

New power lifts also were installed for the high school's gym. Also, 10 condensation returns are being replaced later this month at the school.

Safety issues are what concern the board the most in regards to the high school's science pod repairs.

A list of priorities was submitted by science instructors in order to address the different rooms' most immediate needs.

The district's goal is to continue having classes in the rooms this year with work being done during school breaks. The cost for the different repairs could come to around $300,000, DPS Superintendent Paul Stremick said.

Student inward and outward migration also was discussed Monday evening. The migration report calculated from September 1, 2006 - May 23, 2007 shows 105 total students coming into DPS and 136 going out.

There was an increase in movement both in and out of the school district this year compared to previous years.

Calculating the numbers in the report, school board president Dean Rummel realized 1 out of 10 students were moving either in or out of the district which is higher than normal.

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