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Joliet school district’s tentative budget reveals surplus

The Joliet Public Schools District 86 Board of Inspectors at its meeting last week approved the publication of its tentative budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

This is the first step toward adopting the budget for the upcoming school year.

With operating fund revenues of $144,632,510 and expenditures of $142,126,455, a surplus of approximately $2.5 million is realized.

Tamara Mitchell, assistant superintendent for business and financial services, said District 86 has a strong track record of achieving surpluses over the years.

Out of the expenditures, the largest in the tentative budget are salaries and benefits.

Mitchell said this spending makes up 71 percent of the District’s budget.

Among improvements budgeted for during the upcoming school year the largest involves improvements to A. O. Marshall Elementary School.

Mitchell said a retaining wall will need to be replaced on site.

The budget works under the assumption that District 86 gets four categorical payments from the state of Illinois.

The budget will be available for inspection at the District’s administrative office through Sept. 5, at which point school officials will consider approving it. A public hearing is scheduled to take place at the same meeting.

Contract for main building entrance security work approved

Also at the meeting, officials awarded a $270,000 contract to R. L. Sohol General Contractor for main building security work to be performed at certain schools.

The improvements aim to further promote safety.

“This is about securing our buildings in a more systematic and standardized fashion,” said Dr. Theresa Rouse, superintendent of schools for District 86. “Some of our buildings have a double buzzer. Some only have one. The ones that have the single buzz in, you’re already in the lobby area before you’re buzzed into the office. There’s no first line of defense, so to speak. At some buildings, you have to buzzed in and then buzzed in [again.]”

R. L. Sohol General Contractor was the lowest responsible bidder for the contract.

The improvements are expected to get underway during winter break.

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