District 728 budgets topping $194 million approved by board

by Kurt Nesbitt
Contributing Writer
The amount of money that the Elk River Area School District plans to spend in the coming school year will be less than this year, and that might mean less tax burden for the district’s residents.

School district officials adopted nine categorical budgets Monday night. In all, there will be $194.5 million in income and $209.8 million in spending.

Taxes will contribute a little more than $39 million to those funds — 20 percent of the total funding for the next school year.
The new budget is a slight decrease from the current funding. The income district officials plan to have in the 2017-18 school year is about 2 percent less than the current year. Overall spending will see the largest decrease, since it will go down to $209.8 million from $320.7 million in the current year. The biggest difference there is less construction money flowing through the budget. There was $47.2 million identified in the current budget that isn’t listed in the budget measures passed on Monday.

School Board members adopted most of the proposals unanimously, except when the board began looking at the district’s community services fund. Director Gregg Peppin was concerned about the district getting more and more involved in the child care business. He questioned how the funds for the program grew.

Cory Franson, director of community engagement, said later that the cost is offset by revenue coming in from the program.

He said his office assessed local prices and deliberately tries to offer moderately priced services.

The community services budget was approved 5-1 with Peppin dissenting.