D86 board set to pass balanced budget

Referendum projects, COVID-19 affect line items

Hinsdale High School District 86 plans to take in about $124 million in revenue during fiscal year 2022 to cover some $123.9 million in expenses.

The district will spend an additional $43.6 million as part of the Future Ready Facilities initiative, which voters approved funding for in an April 2019 referendum.

Because the district sold almost $58 million in referendum bonds during the last fiscal year, revenues are down in the 2022 budget by almost 31 percent. But property tax revenue, the district’s largest source of income, is projected to increase 3 percent to slightly more than $116 million. State and federal revenues, which total about $7.6 million combined, are slated to drop 7 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

Expenses are projected to increase 2.4 percent over last year.

At almost $87 million, the largest expense is for salaries and benefits for employees, including almost 612 staff members. The 5.3 percent hike in salaries and 4.5 percent rise in benefit costs reflect the hire of 8.4 employees (full-time equivalents) and annual raises.

Because of restrictions related to COVID-19 last year, some line items show large increases. Extra duty and overtime is slated to rise 72 percent, transportation expenses are up 37 percent, supplies are up 25 percent and travel is up 609 percent.

“Obviously 2021 was a very unique year in utilization of supplies, there was really no travel, things along those lines,” Josh Stephenson, chief financial officer, said in an Aug. 26 presentation to the board. “So when you see these large year-over-year increases, it’s really just 2021 actuals are abnormal. The ’22 budget is kind of back to normal.”

In addition to the $41 million set aside for referendum projects, the budget includes $3.1 million for summer construction work and $770,215 to continue the Transition Center renovation.

Little has changed since the board approved the tentative budget June 23, Stephenson told board members.

A public hearing on the budget is set for the Thursday, Sept. 16, board meeting, with formal adoptions expected to follow. Residents can view the document online at https://www.d86.hinsdale86.org under BoardDocs for the Aug. 26 meeting.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean