Education & Agriculture
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    During the Monday night Central Community High School board meeting, a budget hearing was presented and approved by the board.
    According to Superintendent Dr. Dustin Foutch, the preliminary fiscal year 2022 budget was presented last month and has been on public display for the past 30 days.
    "For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget, we estimated projected revenues conservatively," he said.  "Business manager Becky Boeschen will give you our increase in local property tax dollars consistent with the increase in Estimated Assessed Valuation (EAV)."
    During the hearing, Boeschen said that they are always conservative with revenues estimating low and their expenditure budgeting high, adding that efforts are made to save money all around.
    "We are very fortunate that we continue to have increases in EAV and property tax funding," Foutch said, adding that with this, they can plan on some increases in revenue again this year, but they do not anticipate that those increases will be enough to cover the increased expenses (in the Education Fund).  
    He added that estimated expenditures were budgeted at high levels for FY22.
    "We also included the potential for unexpected circumstances and contingencies," he said.  "With that, we are making increased efforts to limit expenses in every line item of the budget."
    Once approved, they will post the FY22 Budget to the school's website ( and file it with the Regional Office of Education, as required by law.  

    In other news, Foutch reported that due to the surplus that they were expecting to have in their transportation fund, they recently reached out to Southern Bus and Mobility to explore the option of purchasing a 14-passenger mini-bus.  
    "Over the last couple of years, it has become readily apparent that this type of vehicle is needed (on an almost daily basis)for Mrs. Nicole Weh’s class," he said.
    During this summer and fall alone, the school district has spent around $3,712 on rental fees for a 14-passenger bus.  
    "Southern Bus has secured a pricing agreement with the state of Illinois that alleviates the need to go through a competitive bid process," he said.
    The cost to purchase a bus would be $58,091.  
    "When I spoke with folks at Southern Bus, they stated that this type of vehicle lasts for an incredibly long time and that the private high school in town has been using the same bus, without issue, since 1998," he said. 
    The board approved the purchase, adding that, even with that purchase, the district will still be $34,500 in the black for FY22.   
    Foutch presented  to the board a preliminary drawing of the Science Lab remodel.  
    "This is an exciting project and each of our science department staff have been highly involved in the design," he said.
    The plan is to replace all the asbestos flooring in the west wing and remodel both the science lab and foods lab during the summer of 2022. 
    "I have contacted DBA Cabinetry to give us a bid on the foods lab remodel," he said.
    He added that his plan was to apply for a School Maintenance Grant to complete the asbestos abatement and flooring project in the west wing of Central, as well as using  Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funds to complete these projects. 
    In order to be eligible for the latest round of School Maintenance Grants, the board had to approve a Health/Life Safety Amendment for the asbestos abatement project.  
    "We have a couple of different grant options that could be used to pay for our summer 2022 remodeling projects and, ultimately, our goal is to use a large amount of state and federal grant money (and very little local property taxpayer money) throughout the project," he said.
    In other action:
    The board approved to hire Shelby Summer as the junior varsity girl’s softball coach.  
    "Shelby is currently student teaching for Mrs. Julianne Jacob and she has been a member of the softball team at McKendree University for the last four years," Foutch said, adding that she has made a very positive impression on everyone at Central.
    The board approved to "hire" Chris Thole as the volunteer in the boy's baseball program.
    "Coach Thole currently helps with our boy's golf program and Coach Ryan Meyer believes he would be an excellent asset to the baseball program as well," Foutch said.
    The board approved the resignation of Morgan Adams as the assistant soccer coach. Adams had taken another job and was unable to continue to serve as the assistant soccer coach.  
    Central board meetings are held the third Monday of every month at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at Central.

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