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School Trustees establish preliminary budget

Early budget to be revisited once final student numbers established in September



School District 48 is looking to spend $46.6 million next school year. The relatively straight-forward school district budget doesn't include any construction projects, but two capital spending projects are identified in the budget.

The school district's acting secretary treasurer, Ralph Hughes, said the two capital spending items identified in the budget for the next school year relate to the purchase of carbon credits and ongoing maintenance to energy and mechanical systems around the district.

Hughes confirmed that the budget for the year ahead does not include any construction or purchases of new busses.

"Nothing has been approved by the province yet," said Hughes. "We have a plan that's been submitted with various projects that may or may not go forward."

Ian Kent, the school district's assistant superintendent said the board of trustees approved the budget with little discussion at a meeting of the trustees on Wednesday, May 8. Kent noted that board chair Rick Price and vice-chair Andrea Beaubien were both absent from the meeting so trustee Laura Godfrey chaired the meeting.

Hughes said the budget set out now for the next school year is the district's preliminary budget. Preliminary budgets are due by June 30 each year and an amended or final budget is required by the end of each February.

The final budget for the current year was $49.7 million and the preliminary budget last June was set at $46 million. Hughes said additional provincial grants accounted for the difference in the amounts.

Kent added that there are many unknowns at this time of the year so the preliminary budget is a "best guess" based on the information available.

"This time of year we tend to know families leaving but not arriving," said Kent. "Our numbers are conservative because it's always easier to add staff than to take away."

John Hetherington, who retired on May 10 after 25 years with the Sea to Sky school district, was the primarily creator of the budget. Kent noted that a process is underway to hire a new secretary treasurer.


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