WALLINGFORD — The Board of Education recently approved a new account, which would allow it to carry up to 1 percent of its annual budget for capital improvements. One percent of this year’s budget is nearly $1 million.
The “non-lapsing education fund” has been allowed under state law, but is new to the Wallingford school system. The account would allow the Board of Education to carry over unspent funds rather than returning them to the town’s general fund.
“The statute was put in place a couple of years ago by the state of Connecticut,” said School Superintendent Salvatore Menzo. “It seems like the timing is good and it’s time for us to move forward.”
By the end of the current fiscal year, June 30, the Board of Education closes out its annual budget and usually has unspent funds. There is also often a rush to get purchase completed before the fiscal year ends.
“This gives us the gift of time,” said Board of Education Chairwoman Roxane McKay. “We don’t have to have everything expended by June 30. We can take our time and do our research on what is the best use of our money.”
“It gives us the capacity to carry funds over so the purchase orders can be cut and the payments can be made after July 1, rather than rush to have purchases and property delivered,” Menzo said.
Some of the money carried over will be used for maintenance this summer, McKay said. It can also be used for goods that are non-reoccurring. It cannot be used for reoccurring expenses such as salary.
There’s no deadline for the money to be used and it “doesn’t expire,” Menzo said.
McKay emphasized that although money will be placed in the account from year-to-year, she doesn’t expect it to grow substantially.
“The goal is to utilize it,” McKay said. “Personally, I see this as in July, it’ll be at its largest dollar amount, and I see it by the winter or fall, it actually being reduced significantly because you’ve fulfilled those capital expenditure items.”