Milford schools

Milford schools’ COVID spending spiked last month


MILFORD — The return to full-time in-person learning has increased costs, but the school system remains within budget for its COVID expenses, according to James Richetelli, the director of operations.

Schools received $8.17 million from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Grants, Richetelli said at the April 26 school board meeting. Projected COVID-related expenses for the school year rose slightly over the past month, to $3.7 million, he said.

“It was planned when we came back to five days, we knew there would be additional expenses,” he said.

In the past month, Richetelli said schools spent $223,663 on coronavirus-related expenses, about $129,000 more than the previous month, he said. Year-to-date spending is $2.76 million, he said.

“About $83,000 of the $129,000 additional shortfall this month falls into the category of on-call temps, overtime on-call and hourly helpers, as well as an additional $13,000 in facilities for care supplies. interview,” he said.

The furniture and fixtures category also increased by $24,175. Richetelli said this was due to the purchase of 400 chairs and desks. These are to be used in school cafeterias, he said.

“We need individual tables to run the cafeterias,” he said. “We cannot use traditional cafeteria tables due to social distancing.”

But the expense is worth it because of the “human component” that is part of mealtimes, he said.

“We would rather students eat in the cafeteria than eat in their classrooms,” he said.

Council chair Susan Glennon asked if the desks could be reused or if they would be thrown away once they were no longer needed. Richetelli said the desks were versatile enough to continue to be used.

“We plan to be able to use them in the future, they have chairs and a cut-out fold-down desk, so we may be able to use them in the future,” he said.

Richetelli said they believe with the accumulated savings in the operating budget this year and the grants received so far, the schools will be able to cover their projected operating expenses. The food service account projects a deficit of $170,000 due to the fact that the students are not in school, but. Richetelli said schools would work with the Milford Food 2 Kids program to serve food throughout the summer and that should reduce the deficit.

“That’s really the bulk of the extra costs for this month,” he said.

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