by Mitch Wainwright
Much like your own finances, schools have specific accounts where they receive money and spend money. At home, the first of the month might be your mortgage payment and electric bill. In the middle of the month, you may pay for your vehicle and cable bill. The point is, you have money set aside at specific times of the month to pay for certain bills. The school is not any different.
Five years ago, the district set up a fund that would help pay for large capital maintenance projects. This Fund 46 is essentially a savings account that was created for all school districts, if they choose to utilize it. No school district budgets for a roof replacement or boiler replacement in any given year. If a school were to budget that way, money would be lost if that repair was not needed. The Fund 46 account allows schools to put aside money at the end of a fiscal year in preparation for an upcoming project. Mineral Point created the account back in 2015 and was required to wait at least five years before any of that money could be spent.
This July, we will have waited the required five years and can begin to use that money on projects that have been put off. For anyone that has driven into the middle/high school, you will have noticed the main driveway is falling apart. Due to the number of semis that deliver items to the school, and the buses that pick-up and drop-off students throughout the year, the driveway is crumbling. We have patched, filled holes, and done as much as we can to maintain the driveway. The cost to replace the entire drive would cost too much to pay for in one year without having a major impact on the school district’s budget.
By establishing the Fund 46, the district has been able to slowly save enough money to complete a project like replacing the driveway. There are other projects that have been put off that may now be addressed by using Fund 46 dollars. This is a responsible use of taxpayer money, allowed by the state, to perform maintenance on aging buildings that will have little to no impact on the instruction of our students. We continue to make cuts when and where we can while providing an outstanding education for every student. If you notice projects being done to fix some of our problems, please know the district is being wise with your tax dollars, and keeping the education of all of our children as a priority.