The council planned to vote on the amended FY 2014 budget at its meeting Wednesday, so that the budget would reflect updated financials, but postponed the vote so that a correction could be made.
Council members Dudley Wass and Danny Dukes noticed the amended budget did not reflect the fact the school would be paying to rent their building through the end of the year, and they asked the budget be changed to reflect that before the board voted.
There were other smaller issues that had to be corrected as well, but the main reason for the budget issue, Dukes said, was because earlier in the year the council expected to finance a purchase of the building that Cherokee Charter Academy operates in.
Instead, the school will continue renting the building at least through the end of the year as officials discuss how to move forward with the high school facility.
“We will be renters until we can get some clarity on where we go from here. It’s likely that we have to do some discussion about the facility for the high school and we decided it just made a lot of sense to roll that into the full deal and not have two separate fundings,” Dukes said.
Instead of getting funding for two separate facility projects, Dukes said it made more sense to hold off on purchasing the school’s building until there was a plan for the high school, so the two projects could be funded together.
Dukes said that the majority of the reason for creating a revised budget to vote on was the fact that the fiscal 2014 budget needed to be amended to reflect the school’s renting situation.
Dukes asked Charter Schools USA officials, who were participating in the meeting through a teleconference, why the budget hadn’t already been changed to reflect the fact the school would be renting through the end of the year.
Hillary Daigle, a CSUSA representative, said that officials hadn’t changed the budget because the discussion about financing the purchase of the building soon, verses waiting on the purchase and renting though the end of the year, was still “up in the air.”
The council decided to table the amended budget vote until the LGC and CSUSA get clarity in facilities discussions and are able to amend the budget to reflect the final decision.
Heather Blevins, council chairwoman, said since the decision is still “very much in flux,” having questions about the budget made sense.
Wass said since the LGC had only been doing budgets for a couple years, some errors should be expected, and that if the council were in its 30th year of budgeting, there probably wouldn’t be such errors.
“We’re pretty new and I think we’re doing pretty good,” he said.
The vote on an amended budget was postponed until at least January, Blevins said.
At the meeting, the council also:
• Heard a school report from Principal Dr. Scott O’Prey;
• Heard about new technology programs and athletics at the school;
• Reviewed school fundraising to-date and future activities; and
• Approved the corrected September and October financial reports.