PHOTO: WCS Superintendent Mike Looney (right) and Deputy Superintendent Jason Golden field questions from the budget committee Monday afternoon. / Photo by John McBryde
By JOHN McBRYDE
At their Monday meeting, the budget committee voted to approve the general purpose budget request from Williamson County Schools and to keep the capital budget capped at $3.2 million less than what was asked.
WCS Superintendent Mike Looney and Deputy Superintendent Jason Golden fielded questions from members of the budget committee as well as from Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson for about an hour in the auditorium of the Administrative Complex. Members Steve Smith (District 12), Matt Williams (District 9), Tommy Little (District 5) and Jennifer Mason (District 3) voted to accept the request for $386,248,331 for the general purpose budget and a capital budget at $10 million.
The district had asked for $13,254,951 in the capital budget, but District 1 Commissioner Dwight Jones had motioned to amend the amount to $10 million in the April 22 education committee meeting.
The budget and education committees had met April 16 to be introduced to the school budget with the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification from Looney, Golden and WCS CFO Leslie Holman, who wasn’t in attendance at the most recent meeting because of surgery she had done on her finger.
Looney and Golden pointed out that the gap between revenue and expenses is narrowing and could be considerably tighter by the end of the fiscal year.
“When we started this budget process, we were at about a 15-cent gap,” Golden said. “We’re projecting we’re going to end up at about an 11-cent gap compared to where we started a couple of months ago.”
Looney added that, “Partially, it’s because of the governor’s proposed budget and the addition of the strong sales tax collections that are coming in. That has helped us reduce some of the gap.”
The final vote on the budget will take place at the July 8 County Commission meeting.