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By Crystal Hayduk

Michelle Cowhy, executive director of finance and administrative services, presented the proposed Chelsea School District’s (CSD) amended 2016-17 budget to the school board at their meeting on June 26. With expenses exceeding revenue, the district will spend $564,268 of fund equity, leaving $4,674,365, or just over 17% of the total budget in the fund balance.

Cowhy also presented the proposed preliminary budget for the 2017-18 school year, which also uses money from fund equity. “We’re budgeting for a loss of 50 students and an increase of $100 per student in revenue,” said Cowhy. She said that it is possible that the state will give the district more than $100 per student. As written, the preliminary budget will leave the district’s fund balance at $3,938,311, or just below 15%.

Board member Kristin van Reesema questioned whether the board was comfortable with dropping below the 15% fund balance. Board member Greg Rhodes said that the district is comfortable with the preliminary budget because it is based on conservative estimates. Superintendent Julie Helber said, “The December budget amendment is more accurate. We’ll know more then.”

CSD Board of Education Vice-President Tammy Lehman chaired the meeting in the absence of President Anne Mann. The board approved updates to board policies and school handbooks, which had been discussed at the last board meeting.

During the opportunity for public input, Marcus and Lisa Kaemming addressed the board about their family’s 13th year in the district. “Ben’s senior year went by in about a minute,” said Lisa, with a catch in her throat. Together, the Kaemmings reviewed highlights of the past year, emphasizing the “village” of the school and community that have supported their two sons.

In other board news:
Superintendent Helber congratulated district employees upon their retirement in her monthly memo to families. These retirees have given a collective 256.5 years of service to the district: Karen Flannery and Beth Newman (North Creek teachers); Jim Otto and Rahn Rosentreter (Beach Middle School teachers); Catherine Fishburn (CHS para educator); Denyse Schultz and Debra Van Orman (food service); Tom Shanahan (operations/maintenance); and Sandra Devoy Denise Foley, and David Smyth (transportation/bus drivers).

The board commended baseball coach Adam Taylor for being named the Division 2 Regional Coach of the Year by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.

The board completed their superintendent evaluation and has renewed Dr. Helber’s contract for another year. A statement released by the board said, “Superintendent Helber has proven to be an effective superintendent for our district during her first year.  She is committed to the district and community. She excels in her vision and goals for our schools.  We look forward to her continued positive leadership for the Chelsea School District.”

Upcoming dates:
The school board will hold a work session at 5:30 p.m. on July 10 in the superintendent’s conference room in the central office at the Washington Street Education Center.

The next regular school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 14 in the board room at the Washington Street Education Center.

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