Board transfers funds

Published 10:24 pm Friday, May 15, 2009

The Suffolk Public School Board voted unanimously Thursday night to transfer about $3.5 million left over in this year’s budget to fund various projects and purchases before the end of the fiscal year.

These “end of the year” funds have been accrued throughout the year because of several cost saving measures the school system took in case the state demanded certain funds be paid back.

For instance, Superintendent Milton Liverman froze many positions that were vacant this year. Additionally, he froze purchases on non-essential equipment as well as material inventory. Liverman also withheld about 25 percent of allocation funding to the individual schools.

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Thursday, Liverman asked the school board to use these leftover funds to take care of delayed purchases in software, textbooks, computers and school buses as well as use the majority of the funds to take care of maintenance projects in the schools.

“The list of things Mr. Thorsen (James Thorsen, executive director of Facilities and Planning for Suffolk Public Schools) is responsible for is exhaustive,” Liverman told the school board at its work session. “Your schools are in great shape, but they have needs.”

Liverman presented a list of needs for the School Board to consider, including severe heating and air conditioning control problems at certain schools, as well as the need to build a lane to redirect traffic behind John Yeates Middle School, which is a project Liverman classified as a serious safety issue for students because of the traffic back up caused by the current traffic flow.

Also on the list are the typical summer projects necessary in most schools including re-carpeting and paint jobs.

“I daresay you won’t see a request like this anytime soon,” Liverman said of his proposal. He added that while they will continue to utilize cost-saving measures, he doubted it would yield such a return as this year because of how tight the budget already will be.