SPRINGFIELD TWP. During the April 21 Springfield Local Schools Board of Education meeting, held through Zoom and live streamed on YouTube, Treasurer Chris Adams expressed the financing concerns schools are facing.
Adams said that next month’s five-year forecast will probably be the hardest one that treasurers have to do because of the uncertainty, mostly because of the revenue stream.
“We can control our expenditures, but revenue stream is making us nervous. Particularly the foundation,” he said.
Springfield receives more than $9 million from the state.
“I can imagine the budgets around the state are going to be crushed regarding this pandemic,” Adams said. “I am keeping my ears open to find out what kind of assumptions my fellow treasurers are going to be making.”
Adams said the district must realize that even a 10 percent reduction results in a loss of $900,000.
“That is concerning,” said Adams.
The second concern is the payment of property taxes.
“We are already seeing that people are not paying their house payments,” Adams said. “For those that have their taxes in their payment, essentially, they will not be paying their property taxes. We are expecting the default rate to rise at Springfield Township. Everywhere it is going to rise, just how much is it going to rise. That will cause us a reduction in much needed revenue. That is kind of alarming.”
Adams did share some good news in the fact that the district was awarded, for the fourth consecutive year, the Auditor of State Award. Each year the state auditor sends several people into the office and they dig through all the financials.
“They were obviously very pleased, and we are very pleased,” he said. “This could not happen without the staff. The staff handles a lot of the details and the auditor’s department digs into a lot of those little details. We balance to the penny every month. I am fortunate to have the staff that I have.”
Board member Neal Hess pointed out the cost of the audit and that people might think they are free. Adams said they cost about $30,000 to $35,000 a year. It takes them six to eight weeks to do the audit.
In other business, the board:
• Approved a service plan contract with the Summit Educational Service Center for the 2020-21 school year.
• Approved a service contract with the Summit Educational Service Center to provide employment services during the 2020-21 school year, at the cost of salary and benefits, plus any other costs incurred in the employment of the individuals upon written request of the district superintendent or designee.
• Approved a resolution declaring it necessary to submit the question of an additional tax in excess of the 10-mill limitation to the electors of the Springfield Local School District was approved.
The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m., May 19.