Milford schools

Milford Schools resolve $400,000 heating expense overrun


MILFORD — The school district has frozen some spending to help alleviate a projected $400,000 shortfall in its natural gas account, according to operations manager James Richetelli.

In order to partially cover the anticipated deficit, the Board of Education, at its meeting on Monday, unanimously approved the transfer of $207,547.

“Normally we come to the board in June and July for year-end transfers, but because this year we are dealing with unique situations, we decided to come a month earlier,” Richetelli said. “We use natural gas to heat all the schools.

According to Richetelli, the district is anticipating a $400,000 shortfall in natural gas given the volatility in the energy market, which he says is due to the pandemic, record heat in some parts of the world and a record cold in others, Hurricane Ida, changing energy policies and the shortage of natural gas supply.

Monday’s transfer will partially cover the shortfall and district officials expect the next transfer to be around the same amount.

“We decided, because we knew we were going to have these problems at the end of the year, to freeze certain accounts,” he added.

Richetelli said the schools stopped spending in other accounts to ensure a balanced budget at the end of the year. The two accounts they froze are under “supplies” and “other educational support,” he said.

“Counts are generally the schools’ per-student spending,” Richetelli said. “We have asked schools to postpone some of the things they would otherwise have purchased or services they would have undertaken until next year.”

By freezing the accounts, the board saved $155,206 in the supplies account and $52,341 in the other instructional support account, Richetelli said.

“The frozen funds had no impact on teachers in the classrooms,” Richetelli said. “Most of the frozen funds came from non-pedagogical items and represented a small overall percentage of the total allocated funds.”

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