School board takes financial action

Shelby County’s school board

took

positive financial actions at its January regular meeting

for a

savings of more than $1 million and an increase in the system’s ending balance for the 2002-03 budget.

After hearing a report from

Assistant Superintendent of Finance Jim Davis and on the recommendation of School Superintendent Evan Major, the board voted to shave two years off a debt to Baystone Lease.

By refinancing the debt to seven years, the board will realize a savings of more than $1 million, according to Davis.

He said about $230,000 of the savings is transportation bus purchase money.

And instead of spreading that out over seven years,

Davis suggested that the board give the money to the transportation department up front, if legal, to purchase four to five additional school buses.

The board amended its 2003 budget reflecting actual numbers for the year ended Sept. 30, projecting an ending balance of $510,105.

The board also approved total expenditures for the month of December of some $14.9 million including about $7.2 million in expenses and some $7.6 million in wages.

The board also approved a $100,000 bond for Major.

As of December, Davis reported that a projected local tax increase of 5.97 percent was actually coming in at 4.83 percent.

He reported that with projected increases of 6 percent each for ad valorem taxes and sales taxes, the taxes were actually coming in at 4.89 and 2.9 percent respectively.

However, he noted that the alcohol beverage tax was ahead of the 1.40 percent projection at 5.2 percent.

According to Davis, however, it will be tax revenue figures from January and February that will let the board know if it makes its budget.

In other actions, the board:

Approved a four-day field trip (March 18-21) for nine Oak Mountain High School students to attend the CSPA’s Spring Scholastic Convention at Columbia University in New York. The cost to students is $500 or less. Sponsors are Cynthia Cruce and Melissa Dixon.

Approved a three-day field trip (Feb. 5-9) for one Oak Mountain High School student to attend the Special Olympics National Unified Bowling tournament in Knoxville, Tenn., at no cost to the student. The sponsor is Debbie Sullivan.

Approved administrative authority to award a technology bid for internal connections.

Bids are to be opened Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. The bid

will be awarded to the responsible bidder offering a proposal that is deemed the most acceptable and advantageous to the school system.

Approved the following bids:

n Safety First Fire Equipment Company of Eclectic for fire extinguishers and service in the amount of some $31,117. The only other bid was from Standard Fire Equipment Inc. of Birmingham.

n Southland International Trucks Inc. of Birmingham at a cost of some $48,022 each and $480,220 for 10 International buses. Other bids were submitted by Thomas Bus of Alabama in Montgomery.

n Inline Connections of Birmingham at a cost of $12,015 for Internet services. Others bidding were ITS Communications of Grand Rapids, Mich., and BellSouth in Birmingham.

n Charter Communications of Birmingham for Internet access and a data video and voice distribution system at a total three-year solution cost of $1.6 million. The bid award was made contingent upon Schools and Libraries Division approval of

E-Rate funding for the project, sufficient school system funds for its portion of the project and a purchase order from the school system for the services described. Other bidders were InLine Connections of Birmingham, Supercomputer Authority of Montgomery and Trillion Digital Communications of Bessemer.

n The board awarded a split low bid for portable classroom relocation and for technology devices.

n Alabama Mobile Home Transporters of Calera was awarded the low bid for portable classroom relocation of one classroom with set up

at a cost of $1,001 and Barrett Division of Bennett

in Gardendale for relocation of one classroom without setup for $500.

n The board approved technology devices bids to InLine of Montgomery for the wireless group; to Custom Computer Specialist of Hauppage, N.Y.,

for Palm Pilots; and AlphaSmart of Los Gatos, Calif., for

Alpha Smart-Dana