The Teutopolis Board of education opted to be part of the new Effingham Enterprise Zone at their Monday night meeting. City of Effingham Director of Economic Development Todd Hull and Effingham City Manager Jim Arndt presented to the board on the new zone. All taxing bodies within an enterprise zone must decide whether or not to participate. The more who decide to opt in the zone, the better the tax incentives. While opting in could lead to temporary loss of revenue, it allows businesses more reasons to move into the area. Superintendent Bill Fritcher did express concern that the board for the new enterprise zone did not having anyone from Teutopolis on it. Jim Arndt explained that someone from the village could be added in the future by the Mayor of Effingham. The board voted unanimously to take part in the zone.
A special hearing was also held on the district’s budget for the year. Superintendent Bill Fritcher explained that overall the district is showing a surplus of over 100 thousand dollars across all funds with the exception of the transportation fund which is showing a deficit of around 120 thousand dollars. This is largely because late state payments. The budget was later accepted by the board in the regular session
Fred Becker from Glass & Shuffett presented the district’s 2015-2016 financial audit to the board. Overall the district was sound, though their overall financial score did drop slightly, due to factors such as enrollment and cash-on-hand. Even with the reduction, the district is still within the highest possible audit score.
The board also voted to approve measures that would allow the district to begin the process of buying a new school bus and new locks for the the Junior High and High School.
Also discussed was progress on roof repairs for the Junior High School and High School. With additional masonry work required for the High School, the overall cost for the the project has been projected to be around 1.3 million dollars. The board discussed funding options that included paying from existing funds or potentially taking out a loan. Borrowing money would lead to costs for taxpayers down the line.
The board also considered moving school start times forward 15 minutes to accommodate student athletes who are missing class time to get to sports events as well as parents who are having a difficult time getting students dropped off for school. No official action was taken at Monday’s meeting, but Superintendent Fritcher will be discussing the possibility with building principals.