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Loss of SRS funding huge financial hit for Prairie schools District plans to run levy in May

COTTONWOOD – SRS funding loss will also affect Cottonwood Joint School District 242 in a big way, according to superintendent Rene Forsmann.

“Cottonwood has utilized the SRS monies for capital improvements. When we set in motion a plan to downsize our buildings, we closed the old elementary and remodeled the high school and then the middle school,” she said.

At the high school the district remodeled the lower floor and added two rooms off of our gymnasium to house weight training and art. At the middle school (now the elementary school), they remodeled the kitchen and freezer area and added four rooms.

“We utilized our SRS money to make all this happen,” she added. “We now see a savings in salaries and benefits — instructional, classified and administration – as well as utilities, supplies and equipment.”

Last year the district reduced its levy from $387,000 to $350,000 and took the difference from the SRS funds.

“We remodeled an office, added storage, cabinets, and desks to the elementary utilizing the SRS monies. We have utilized the money to replace piping to a sewer system at the high school and have added flooring and a sink and dishwasher system at the high school,” she said. They also replaced a commercial lawnmower and added new outside lighting to the elementary school.

If the reduction is scheduled as planned, Forsmann said, Cottonwood JSD will go from $408,000 to approximately $29,000.

“It will only take one piece of equipment needing replaced to deplete that very little supply of money,” Forsmann stated.

Although CJSD won’t discuss a levy until this month’s board meeting, Forsmann will suggest a $350,000 levy again. The district will not run its levy until May.


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