School Board attempts to create reserve fund

TOWNSHEND — The School Board of Directors continues its effort to establish a reserve fund after learning that as of June 30 the year's budget is apparently overspent by $101,000.

According to draft meeting minutes, posted at, Windham Central Supervisory Union Chief Financial Officer Victor “Bud” DeBonis reported that special education expenses represent the greatest portion of that sum.

The balance sheet is preliminary, as it had yet to be audited, he said on July 14.

“Some money will need to be put in the FY 16 [budget] to start chipping away at the fund balance,” the minutes read, then noted that the board earlier discussed establishing a reserve, which must be set to meet an identified issue.

Members reportedly discussed the best way to establish such a reserve fund and how it would affect per-pupil costs. DeBonis said he would look into this and report back.

In other business, board members discussed pending collaborations with Jamaica toward building a new school.

Draft meeting minutes note Jamaica's school board voted June 26 to direct the administration to look into building a new school and collaborative based on the results of a state-funded Regional Education District Study Committee survey.

Vice-Chairperson Al Claussen moved to direct the administration to gather projected costs to build a new school for both towns following parameters included in Jamaica's School Board minutes. The motion, seconded by Cliff Passino, carried.

Minutes speculate this motion would have been approved at the joint meeting had Townshend managed a quorum. Members said they expect the administration to come back with information at a joint board meeting on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.

That raises a schedule note: There is no meeting of the Townshend School Board on Sept. 8; the board will meet Sept. 9 in Jamaica prior to the joint meeting. The board typically meets on the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at Townshend Elementary School.

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