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Downers Grove District 58 approves budget for 2013-14

DOWNERS GROVE – The District 58 School Board unanimously approved a $69.3 million budget for Fiscal 2014 Monday night.

The $69.3 million figure includes about $65.7 in operating expenses, which outpace expected revenues of about $64.7 million, leaving an operational deficit of about $1 million.

The district plans to cover the deficit with existing fund balances, said District 58 Controller Jim Popernik.

The $69.3 million figure also includes about $3.6 million in one-time capital expenditures such as asphalt work and the Pierce Downer Elementary School expansion.

Popernik said low interest rates on investments and the continued fiscal problems at the state level will continue to make budgeting more difficult in the years ahead, and require the district to consider cuts.

"I think we're fine this year, and we're fine next year," he said Tuesday. "It's the [2015-16] year I'm worried about, and we'll need to take some steps this year and next year to lighten the blow that year. We'll need to look at what our programming looks like."

According to information provided by Popernik, the state owed the school district about $700,000 at the close of the previous fiscal year on June 30.

Popernik also said the district's recent investments in buildings and life-safety projects will put it in a good position for the next "10, 15 and in some cases 20 years," but that spending will now be coming to an end.

"We're not at a critical state, but we're not going to be spending our fund balances on facilities anymore," he said.

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