By Charlie Feldman
The Triad School Board heard a short presentation on its annual budget and approved a new Internet platform at its monthly meeting, held on Monday, January 25.
They met in person for the first time in months due to the region moving to Tier 2 of the Illinois COVID-19 mitigation plan.
A review of the annual audit was given by Kevin Tepen of C.J. Schlosser & Company, LLC.
He said by the end of 2020, the district’s total revenues were almost $44 million. The total expenses and disbursements were $46 million, up from $42 million last year. This was not from the debt but due to expenses from the solar project, he said, listed under support services.
“After the solar project, you actually had an increase of about $601,000. It’s very good to have that kind of increase,” Tepen said. “Last year it was almost a break even.
“Your revenues are up overall quite a bit from the last year, which was forty-one million dollars – this year it is almost forty-four,” he said. “Part of it is the way the property taxes were cut off. Being on a cash basis, you received a full year again this year. Last year you didn’t receive those early payments. So it’s going to look like you had a big increase.”
He said the district’s cash balance at the end of the year was about $8.15 million, up from about $7.5 million from the previous year. The large part of the liabilities was the long-term debt, he said. But at the end of the year it was about $48.8 million, a decrease from just a little bit under $51 million last year.
“You have to be pretty happy the way the financial situation has gone over the past several years,” he said.
In other developments, the board voted to transition the district’s website and communication platform from Intrado (School Messenger) to Apptegy.
“It allows us to provide administrators with kind of a one-stop shop to update listings in all locations in the same dashboard,” explained district director of technology Mike Wielgus. With the current system, if an administrator want to post something or give a snow alert, it takes three people working different aspects of the platform to do it for them. The cost is about the same, Wielgus said, but it’s “a little more futuristic in functionality and what we can do to provide information to our community.”
Director of Business and Communication Mike Raymond gave an update on solar panels. These have been secured to complete phase 2, but due to supply shortage, there will be two different types. The district is on track to begin placing steel in the ground during the March 18 week off, he said.
The next school board meeting will be held on Monday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m.