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Little locally in District 196 capital budget

There is $9,000 for folding chairs, a table saw and a few other expenses at Rosemount High School in a preliminary version of Independent School District's capital expenditure budget, but not much else for Rosemount schools.

The District 196 School Board took a first look at the capital budget, which covers a wide range of expenses not directly tied to classroom instruction, at its meeting Monday night. As proposed, the budget includes $8.83 million in purchases, a little more than half of the $16.2 million that was requested by schools and other groups within the district.

The board will vote on a final version of the budget April 22.

Parkview Elementary was the only other Rosemount-area school to receive funding for one of its requests in the preliminary budget. The school received $1,000 for new shelving.

Rosemount Elementary School did not receive funding requested for a new storage garage, irrigation for its athletic fields or improvements in lighting at its main entrance. Red Pine Elementary requested $5,315 for partitions. Shannon Park Elementary did not make any requests.

Rosemount Middle School made $125,000 in requests, including $60,000 for a parking lot behind the building and $35,000 to close in classrooms from a 1993 addition to the school.

RHS made $2.5 million in requests, the largest of which was $2 million for back-up generators. It received $3,000 for folding chairs, $4,000 for new concrete slabs outside of some entrances and $1,190 for a table saw in the theater's scene shop.

The district's capital expenditure budget is funded by the state of Minnesota. This year the district will receive roughly $200 per student for a total available budget of $9.3 million.

That is less than the district has had available to it in recent years, when it was able to spend down a fund balance built up when there was bond money available to pay for projects that would otherwise have come from the capital budget.

The biggest single expense in the district's capital budget is $2.9 million for building leases. There is another $2.8 million for curriculum materials and $345,000 for technology and telecommunications expenses.

The items included in the budget presented Monday are not school's only source for money to spend on building needs. Each school also receives an allocation of money to spend as it considers necessary.