BOE wants to discuss surplus account

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NAUGATUCK — The Board of Education has its sights set on a surplus account.

The board voted this month to authorize Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke to meet with borough officials and discuss the possibility of creating a surplus account overseen by the school board.

“Should we end the year in a surplus, we have an account to reserve to that the Board of Education has discretion over,” Locke said.

Locke said currently there is nothing earmarked for any surplus funds, if the idea comes to fruition. She said the board needs to have more conversations before deciding what the money would be used towards.

“Any potential spending by the Board of Education would be in line with the published strategic plan and the 2015-16 financial plan,” Locke said.

Locke said legislation was passed a few years ago that allows school boards to have a surplus account. In the past, any additional funds had to be returned to the borough.

According to Locke, the account would not exceed 1 percent of the total allocated school budget. The board’s 2014-15 budget is $60.9 million, which means it would be able to save up to $609,000 this year under the proposal.

At the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year, the borough allowed the school board to keep its year-end balance to be used towards technology purchases. In 2014, the board used the money towards the purchase of 800 PCs and 500 Lenovo Chromebooks.

“Fortunately in Naugatuck, the borough and the Board of Education have a collaborative relationship and the borough has reserved funds in the past for the Board of Education in identified areas, including technology,” Locke said.

Mayor Robert Mezzo said the Joint Boards of Finance and Mayor and Burgesses has worked with the Board of Education in the past to help it save money from the balance in its budget.

“I applaud the superintendent and her team for managing the Board of Education budget successfully during a challenging budget year,” Mezzo said. “I am open to the superintendent’s proposal, and willing to bring it forward to the joint boards for discussion, once I am clear on all the details.”