School board approves budget and provincial borrowing for capital projects

The School District of Mystery Lake board of trustees approved their 2021-22 school year budget and provincial borrowing for a trio of capital projects at their March 23 meeting.

The budget includes revenues of $43,798,278 and expenditures of $43,997,548 and will be balanced using $239,270 from the operating surplus. The property tax requirement of $8,906,064.79 is $76,229.79 lower than the previous year’s request, said secretary-treasurer Kelly Knott.

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The board also approved $717,800 of provincial borrowing. Most of this amount – $586,100 – will go toward a major addition and renovation at R.D. Parker Collegiate, while $125,000 is for district fibre installation. There is also $6,700 to complete the addition of modular classrooms at Wapanohk Community School.

This year’s operating expenditures are on track, with 52.6 per cent of the budget having been spent as of March 18, which was 65 per cent of the way through the school year. Seventy-two per cent of planned COVID-19 expenses have already been spent, however, and the district is currently predicting a $95,342 deficit for pandemic expenditures.

“That has prompted the review of current in-year budget amounts so that we can address the deficit at this time,” said Knott. “There’s no more other surprises we’ve encountered at this point.”

Attendance was up in February, superintendent of educational services and programming Lorie Henderson told the board.

“District-wide our schools went from 75.6 to 90 per cent so attendance is fairly good at our schools right now. We’ll see what March brings.”

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