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Revised Prop P budget goes to board June 23


Executive Editor

A revised budget for the Mehlville School District's Proposition P districtwide building improvement program will be presented later this month to the Board of Education.

Randy Charles, assistant superintendent for finance and the district's chief financial officer, told board members last week that he would present a revised Proposition P budget when they meet Monday, June 23. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the boardroom of the Administration Building, 3120 Lemay Ferry Road.

"What we intend to do at the next board meeting is to bring you a detailed description of the original budget and our revised projection, line by line, project by project, explaining how it got there,'' Charles told the board.

When voters approved a 49-cent tax-rate increase in November 2000 to fund Prop-osition P, the cost of the districtwide im-provements recommended by the Citizens' Advisory Committee for Facilities was estimated at $68.4 million.

Interest on the bond-like certificates of participation issued to fund Proposition P allowed the construction budget to increase to $72.4 million.

Current estimates indicate the 49-cent tax-rate increase will generate $170,165,506 through 2022, while the amount needed to retire the certificates of participation is projected at $144,346,224 — leaving a surplus of $25,819,282 in district capital funds.

One scenario for funding Proposition P cost overruns and the costs of related projects estimates that more than $13.6 million of that nearly $26 million would be spent by mid-2008.

Under that scenario, which Charles presented to the school board on May 12, the total cost of Proposition P and related projects would be $86,068,491 through June 30, 2008.

That includes the board-approved budget of $72.4 million, plus another $13,668,491 in district capital funds.

To date, more than $5 million of district capital funds has been spent on Propo-sition P-related projects. The biggest ex-penditure of that $5 million in district capital funds has been $3.6 million for roof repairs.

The board-approved Proposition P budget included a contingency of roughly $3.5 million. Today, the amount remaining in the contingency totals roughly $649,000.

As she did at the May 12 board meeting, board member Rita Diekemper questioned Charles on May 27 about whether the existing contingency would be sufficient for the remaining Proposition P projects.

Citing code requirements and other un-anticipated problems that have depleted the original contingency, Charles said, "What we would like to do is bring to the board at the June 23 meeting, a proposal for consideration, what might be considered a revised Prop P budget. It would show our projected final cost and the proposed new budget, but we would explain how the numbers changed from the original budget to what was being proposed.''

While roughly $649,000 remains from the original contingency of $3.5 million, Proposition P projects remaining to be awarded total about $6.5 million. Therefore, an overall contingency of 10 percent is available for the remaining projects. In addition, each remaining project also would include a 7 percent project-specific contingency. Up to now, individual projects have included a 5 percent contingency.

"So in addition to the 7 percent contingency on all remaining projects, there's another 10 percent (available) ... So we're very comfortable with these numbers that are in front of you right now that we can accomplish this ...,'' Charles said.

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