BIC Board hears financial review

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Buffalo Island Central School Board heard the district's annual financial review from First Security Beardsley Public Finance during its regular meeting April 14.

Marshall Hughes, First Security Beardsley Public Finance, gave the annual financial review to BIC School board meeting on April 14.

Marshall Hughes, vice president of Beardsley Public Finance, first talked about how much each new mill would generate, the district's current millage schedule and the state average millage. The BIC School District currently has a total of 33 mills, which is lower than the state average of 37.29 mills. He said each new mill would generate $55,803, if collection was 100 percent. Hughes then discussed local tax collection, payments the district is making, short term debit and the state funding schedule for BIC.

Hughes told the board based on the district's current wealth index state partnership funding for building projects would be paid at 55 percent with the district being responsible for the remaining 45.67 percent of the project's cost.

During his financial review Hughes shared with the board a sample ballot for a proposed 9 mill increase with the extension of the district's current 8 debt service mills to 30 years for the construction of a new preK-12th grade campus. The sample ballot was just to give the board an idea of what a millage question would look like if the board decided to ask voters for a millage increase. The BIC Board has until June to decide if it will ask voters for a millage increase in September and how many mills it would be asking voters to approve.

The board then voted unanimously to extend the district's contract with Beardsley and Associates for another three years. Also on hand at the meeting was Adam Seiter of Nabholz Construction. Seiter shared with the board very preliminary estimates of what site work would cost for the district's purposed preK-12th grade campus to be located on Highway 18 at the Mississippi/Craighead County line on the north side of the highway. The district submitted its application to the state for partnership funding for the project in March of this year and will know whether the project is approved or not in May of 2015. The new combined campus project is estimated to cost $22 million with the state paying 55 percent of that cost if partnership funding is approved.

Seiter told the board that site work is estimated at $1.97 million but those estimates are inflated and would more than likely go down. He said the most expensive part of the site work would be utilities such as sewer lines.

"We are really, really early in the design process for this project," Seiter said. "I expect those figures to trend down. Our main focus right now is the budget and making sure the district gets the best for its money. This is our first run at a site development budget based on the preliminary layout of the site. Most of the figures are on the high side as a safety net. Those numbers will change and a specific budget will be determined as the project moves forward."

In other business BIC superintendent Gaylon Taylor talked to the board about a couple of grants the district is applying for including one from Arkansas Game and Fish to possibly implement archery for elementary students. The board approved unanimously the renewal of non certified contracts as listed and accepted the resignations of Coty Cornish, Karalee Gibson, Leigh Gathright and Corrine Johnson.

"I want to publicly say to Karalee Gibson and Coty Cornish thank your for your diligent service to this district," Taylor said. "Our school is a much better place because of their service."

The BIC board also approved SG360's bid for custodial service. The district's current custodial staff will be offered jobs with the company and the district will be interviewing for two custodial positions, one for each campus location.

Taylor told the board the district has begun a voter registration campaign. He said it is important for parents and community members to be registered voters so they can have a say not only in school elections but state and local elections as well.

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