Neligh-Oakdale requested nearly 20 percent more in taxes last year than it needed and will carry over more than $1.1 million into the next budget cycle.
Superintendent Scott Gregory called it "an unusual budget year" during Monday's Board of Education meeting, where the board approved the 2016-17 budget and tax levy.
"Usually you try to aim to be at about 90 to 92 percent spent if you can help it," Gregory said Monday. "We were a little bit below that at about 82 or 83 percent."
Where did Neligh-Oakdale make the cuts and not spend the money it deposited from taxpayers? Gregory pointed out several line items as being key to not spending the money.
Neligh-Oakdale only spent 86 percent of what it planned to on "regular instruction." It also spent just 84 percent on special education programs. Other key items that were cut significantly, Gregory said, were support service areas.
Gregory said the $1.1 million carried over from last year is now considered "cash on hand," not depreciation, and will be used at will by the district. Among the ways to spend the money, Gregory said, is on a new HVAC system. He said no timeline has been set, but the new system will cost between $1 million and $2 million dollars.
Although the district had an excess of $1,101,345.24 - or 82.66 percent of its budget - Neligh-Oakdale is still requesting more money for its general fund in 2016-17 than it did last year. The general fund request is for an additional $76,644.45.
While the property tax request for the general fund will increase, the special building fund request will go down. Last year, Neligh-Oakdale requested nearly three-quarters of a million dollars for building issues. This year, just one-third of that dollar amount will go toward the building fund - $252,525.25.
According to the 2016-17 budget, Neligh-Oakdale will have $428,630 in depreciation and over $1.23 million in its building fund.
With the increase in tax valuation within the school district, the overall levy for Neligh-Oakdale will decrease from .94 last year to .86 in 2016-17 - with most of the decrease taken from the building fund. Neligh-Oakdale is requesting $4,920,542.38 in property taxes for 2016-17.
"The taxpayer at home can take a lot of pride in the committee and the fact that this board will pass a budget that is very efficient and very lean," Gregory told the board Monday night.
Reinke commended Gregory on his thoroughness with this budget.
During the superintendent and principal reports, administration focused on the need for a new security camera system. The board directed Gregory to keep looking into possible bids.
Also at the meeting, the board discussed and reviewed several school policies. Gregory thanked Brad Higgins and Neligh Police Chief Mike Wright for the help revising a lockdown policy.
The next meeting is set for October 10 at 7 p.m.