UPDATED: Lindbergh board adopts revised 2013-2014 budget

Revised budget projects $2 million surplus

By Mike Anthony

The Lindbergh Board of Education voted unanimously tonight — Tuesday — to adopt a revised 2013-2014 operating budget that projects an operating surplus of more than $2 million.

The original operating budget approved by the school board in June projected a surplus of $4,679. The proposed revised budget projects a surplus totaling $2,061,752.

In a separate matter, the board agreed to move forward with an advanced refunding of general obligation bonds that were issued in 2007.

The savings to taxpayers could total roughly $1.6 million.

Approval of a revised budget for the 2013-2014 school year that projects an operating surplus of more than $2 million was set to be considered earlier this week by the Lindbergh Board of Education.

The board was scheduled to meet Tuesday night — after the Call went to press.

The original operating budget approved by the school board in June projected a surplus of $4,679. The proposed revised budget projects a surplus totaling $2,061,752.

In a memo to Superintendent Jim Simpson, Chief Financial Officer Charles Triplett wrote, “The vast majority of the increased revenue comes from the end of the Gravois Bluffs Tax-Increment Financing withholding, which ended in September.”

The original 2013-2014 operating budget projected expenditures of $61,576,532 with anticipated revenues of $61,581,211.

The proposed revised budget anticipates expenditures of $61,998,103 with projected revenues of $64,059,855.

Operating expenses increased by $421,544 since the adoption of the original budget, according to the proposed revised budget.

Some of those increased expenditures include $233,678 for the purchase of property at 9188 Eddie & Park Road, adjacent to Sappington Elementary School; $208,200 for improvements at Long Elementary School; and nearly $41,000 for improvements at Dressel School and the former Paraclete Fathers property at 13270 Maple Drive in Sunset Hills.

In July, Alwal “Al” Moore presented the district with the 10-acre former site in the Tapawingo subdivision in the form of a 50-year lease. Lindbergh Schools is leasing the property at a cost of $1 per year.

Since the adoption of the original budget, operating revenues increased by $2,478,644, with property taxes from the end of the Gravois Bluffs Tax-Increment withholding comprising $2,272,000 of that amount.

The original 2013-2014 budget included a board-approved 2-percent salary increase for district employees and a 2-percent increase in health insurance benefits. Salary and benefit increases totaled slightly more than $700,000.

To help fund those increases, the approved 2013-2014 budget reduced various Business Services accounts — insurance reserve, postage, supplies, elections and band uniforms — by $292,500 and transportation by $95,000.

In a separate matter Tuesday, board members were set to discuss refunding general obligation bonds that were issued in 2007.

In a memo to Simpson, Triplett wrote, “Our bond adviser, Joy Howard with WM Financial Strategies, estimates that an advanced refunding of these bonds would result in approximately $1.6 million in interest savings. All savings from bond refundings are a direct savings to the district’s taxpayers, as we set debt-service tax rates to collect only the revenue necessary to pay off bonds.

“No additional revenue will be available to the district due to this refunding.”