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home : news : local   February 6, 2016

8/21/2014 4:50:00 AM
Waltham faces $360,000 shortfall this school year

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

The economy seems to be improving, but Waltham Elementary still expects a shortfall come next summer.

Wednesday, superintendent Larry Carlton unveiled a projected 2014-15 budget showing the district bringing in revenues of $2.45 million versus expenditures of $2.8 million. The projected shortfall comes to about $360,000.

However, Carlton dropped hints the loss may not be that steep.

“Please keep in mind I’m giving you worst-case scenarios,” he told the board, tempering his expectations on revenue.

Among the new expenses contained in the budget are cameras for the school buses, a sidewalk connecting the Waltham North building to the playground and a final payment on the technology loan.

“After this year,” he told the board, “you’ll be debt-free.”

No matter how big the shortfall, Waltham has the cash reserves needed to cover the red ink. If the worst-case forecast holds, Waltham’s reserves will tumble from $2.9 million to just under $2.6million.

A budget hearing will be at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, moved from the third to fourth Wednesday of the month to keep the budget on display to the public for 30 days.

Social media revival?
Also, the district may revive its dormant Facebook page and Twitter accounts.

Melanie Lukacsy, the new assistant principal, said she’d like to use social media to keep families abreast of what’s happening at the district.

“Just kind of keep parents and even grandparents informed,” she said.

With board assent, Lukacsy said she will restart the Facebook page first and, if families are receptive, either reactivate the Twitter account or start a new one.

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or Follow him on Twitter @NT_Court.

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