PCS forecast to remain in the black

By Belinda M. Paschal - bpaschal@civitasmedia.com

PIQUA – The forecast for Piqua City Schools over the next couple of years is “looking good,” according to Jeremie Hittle, the district’s treasurer and chief financial officer.

Hittle touched briefly on the five-year forecast for PCS during Tuesday evening’s board of education meeting, noting that for fiscal years 2017 and 2018, the district is on track to remain in the black, with expenditures not exceeding revenues. Beyond that, he said, the unknowns – such as the state’s biennial budget – make it difficult to give a projected view.

Fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017) is the first year of the five-year forecast and is considered the baseline year.

“We’re working with a couple of big unknowns,” Hittle said, adding that a more definitive five-year forecast will come in late spring or summer, once the state’s budget is known.

According to Hittle’s report, the financial forecast is “laden with risks and uncertainty due to the economic climate and volatility of the legislative changes that are happening very fast and with little time to plan.”

He offered a description of some issues and how they might affect the district’s long-term forecast, for example: The state budget represents 54 percent of district revenues in fiscal year 2017. This is an area of ongoing risk to the current level of revenue. The risk comes in fiscal year 2018 and beyond if the state economy worsens or if future state budgets radically reduce funding to PCS. Future uncertainty in both the state foundation funding formula and the state’s economy makes this area an elevated risk to district funding long-term.

“No matter what happens, I believe we’re going to be able to remain in the black for this fiscal year and next,” Hittle reiterated.

Board President Frank Patrizio added, “We’re very fortunate in this district to have a very sound financial footing.”

Hittle encourages the public to contact him for more information and to gain a better understanding of the forecast. He can be reached at (937) 778-4512.

Also during the meeting, Athletic Director Chip Hare discussed the upcoming faceoff between the Piqua Indians and the Troy Trojans at Alexander Stadium. The Friday night game is even more anticipated than usual, as it will see the longstanding rivals battling it out for the title of Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division champs. It’s also slated to be Game of the Week on Time Warner Cable, Hare said.

A pep rally will be held at the downtown gazebo at 8 p.m. tonight, following the Piqua Kiwanis Halloween parade and costume judging, and rallies will be held at every school in the district on Thursday, as well as at Piqua Manor and Brookdale Piqua.

In other business, Fanning Howey was approved to meet with a committee to discuss work that needs to be done at the high school and junior high, including installing new fire alarms, structural work, safety upgrades and installing camera.

The purchase of a used box truck, a 2015 model with 26,000 miles, also was approved. The current vehicle being used is between 15-25 years old. The vehicle that will be purchased costs between $25,000 and $30,000, whereas a new truck would cost $60,000, Hittle said.

In addition, the district is shopping for a truck to do snowplowing and maintenance, as well as to pull trailers used by the band and show choir. This vehicle would also be used, with the cost not to exceed $50,000.

The board of education will hold its next meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 17, at Springcreek Primary School. Live and recorded streams of BOE meetings can be viewed on the board’s website at www.piqua.org/BoardofEducation.aspx.

By Belinda M. Paschal


Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.