MONROE, CT — Finance Director Ron Bunovsky Jr. shared a projection for a $1 million surplus for the Board of Education budget by the end of the year.
“We’re showing a surplus at the end of the year of about $615,000,” he told the board at its meeting last week. “That’s before closing out the purchase orders. I expect that number to increase in the lower seven figure range.”
Chairman David Ferris said the prospect of returning $1 million-plus back to the town is “really good news.”
“A lot of that is special ed driven,” Bunovsky said. “There is also a big surplus in the medical insurance line from last year, which was anticipated. We’re running into a bigger problem this year.”
Due to the timing of budgeting, the Board of Education must approve its budget before health insurance companies set their rates, so money for that line item is based on an estimate.
Bunovsky said the state gave the district a number to budget for and the health insurance rates actually came in lower than that, creating a surplus, while the reverse happened this year.
“For our last fiscal year, we were told to budget eight percent and it came in at about six,” Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza explained. “This year, they told us eight percent and it’s a little over 10.5.”
Bunovsky said the town has money in a contingency account to handle the deficit in this year’s medical insurance budget, as well as for any cost overruns in utilities.
Dennis Condon, a board member, noted that some budget line items rose significantly and wondered whether the board should increase budgeting for those things, while making adjustments for next year’s spending plan.
Bunovsky said they will see how costs for these line items trend throughout the year.
“The last two years have been difficult to budget for,” Kobza said.
“Either way, it’s surplus money coming back to the town,” Ferris said. “Our thanks to everybody for watching the pennies.”