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updated: 12/15/2010 11:33 PM

Palatine Dist. 15 preparing for next year's budget woes

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Now that the state has finally come through with its last outstanding debt to Palatine Township Elementary District 15 for the 2009-10 school year the payment arrived Tuesday officials are looking ahead.

The school board chimed in on next year's budget guidelines presented by Assistant Superintendent Mike Adamczyk at a relatively uneventful and calm meeting Wednesday.

One expenditure prompting discussion was over the $1 million budgeted for the capital projects fund.

Board member Sue Quinn said the board in past years has aimed to consistently budget for $2.5 million worth of work, a direction unknown to new cabinet members. Board President Gerald Chapman also pointed to the nearly $1.4 million the district will receive from the village of Palatine for a tax increment financing district surplus to be used for capital projects.

Board members agreed they needed to see the tentative 2011-12 budget far in advance of the June 2011 date proposed by Adamczyk, saying they needed to have an idea of District 15's long-term financial outlook early next year in order to determine whether certain purchases should be made such as a current plan to buy several buses.

Going out for bids on bigger projects like a roof replacement also has to be done months ahead of the summer construction window.

Adamczyk said he'd present a five-year budget outlook to the board in January or February, though it shouldn't stray too much from numbers released just a couple months ago.

Superintendent Scott Thompson said staff hopes to finalize the district's five-year facilities maintenance plan around the same time.

"We're working on it," Thompson said.

Adamczyk also discussed certain assumed revenue items and expenditures. The biggest expense will be instructional payroll, which, under the teachers' three-year employment contract, calls for a 1.45 percent salary increase and another 3.6 percent step and lane increase.

To no one's surprise, the waiting game will continue next year with the state, which is now said to be facing a $15 billion deficit. Adamczyk said he's heard District 15 can expect to receive just one of four quarterly payments for the 2010-11 school year by June 2011.