• Fri. Oct 8th, 2021

“We stopped spending when we needed it”

ByDiane S. Anderson

Jul 21, 2021

MILFORD – Prudent spending combined with grants have helped Milford Public School stay on budget this year, despite spending around $ 3.4 million in expenses related to COVID.

“We stopped spending when we had to stop spending in certain areas. We took advantage of the natural savings from COVID and ended the year on a balanced budget, ”said Jim Richetelli, director of school system operations.

Richetelli delivered the final report on COVID 2020-2021 expenses and revenues to the school board at its July meeting.

Overall, Milford Schools spent $ 3.4 million in the 2020-21 school year on COVID-specific expenses such as guard overtime, scheduling aids, building repairs, child care supplies and more. Richetelli said this amount was “over and above” what had been budgeted. However, schools received nearly $ 2.5 million in additional revenue specifically for COVID spending which included the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Grant (ESSER), the COVID Relief Fund Grant, and the Milford Education Fund Account.

“From the general fund we were able to save, either through natural savings related to COVID, or by carrying over about $ 1.5 million that we cover from the general fund,” Richetelli said.

Of the approximately $ 1 million from the permanent fund, schools have allocated just under $ 400,000 to cover expenses for 2020-2021.


“The council very wisely set aside a little over $ 1 million from the 2019 budget and put it in the permanent fund. State law allows school boards to put up to 2% of their operating budget in a dedicated account, with the permission of the city, for a specific purpose in the future, ”he said. declared. “We only spent $ 395,694 of that, and it’s intentional, and it’s forward thinking because eventually we will go back to our school buildings, there will be expenses that we will have for the school year. 2021-22 which were not budgeted for. “

The money left in the permanent fund is specifically intended for expenses related to COVID, Richetelli said.

“This continues in perpetuity until the last penny is spent,” he said.

Richetelli also told the board that the foodservice department was also successful in closing its budget deficit, ending the year with a small surplus. He said that the balancing of the budget of this ministry had been “monumental”. Schools distributed free meals to students this year, but were reimbursed for each meal donated. Allocation of some surpluses from previous budgets, as well as increased demand for school meals, helped close the gap, he said.

“As you know, at one point we were forecasting a deficit of half a million dollars on this account,” he said.


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