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The Depew Board of Education has heard the first of a series of upcoming reports from department managers on the 2000-01 school budget.

Next year's proposed $1.73 million budget for the district's Building and Grounds Department calls for a nearly $45,000 increase in expenditures over this academic year, according to Joe Farr, the department supervisor.

Included in the Building and Grounds budget is a more than $22,000 increase in expenditures for personnel. The proposed personnel budget, which is nearly $929,000, includes a 5.5 percent salary increase for the supervisor, to $44,310 from $41,970.

There is also an increase of more than $22,000 proposed in the utility budget for the 2000-01 year, Farr said Thursday. The chief reason for the increase is found in the proposed electric budget, which was increased to about $333,500 from more than $315,000.

"The electric usage is up with the additional 1,000 computers, which are now being utilized," Farr said. "We are looking for effective ways to purchase electricity with the deregulation now in place."

Meanwhile, a $1.54 million proposed transportation budget for 2000-01 is expected to be a nearly $100,000 increase over this year's budget, outlined Fred Bauer, department supervisor.

The need for additional school bus attendants is expected to cause a portion of the jump. The budget for bus attendants would increase to nearly $191,000 from more than $155,000, Bauer explained.

The district will be required to hire additional attendants for buses to account for an increase in the number of bus routes that will be required for students with special needs, he said.

Under the proposed budget, the transportation supervisor's salary would increase to $49,976 from $47,403.

The Board of Education will continue hearings on the proposed 2000-01 budget at its next scheduled meeting on Feb. 3.

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