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Lower deficit: School district shaves more than $300,000 from deficit

By David Luessen

The Jamestown Sun

At Monday’s regular meeting of the Jamestown Public School Board, Superintendent Rob Lech said the end-of-the year deficit was $474,452, much less than the approximate $800,000 deficit that had been projected.

“That difference really is a small percentage of our budget,” Lech said, “but I wanted to really give a lot of credit to our building administrators, staff, Sally (Ost, business manager) looking at how we can be more efficient, recognizing that we’re operating on a budget deficit, and I really believe those individuals deserve a lot of credit for that difference between $800,000 and the $474,000.”

Lech said some contributing factors to the lower deficit included underspending on textbooks by $146,000 under what had been the estimated budget. Materials, workbooks and equipment were a combined $97,000 under the budget.

“There’s other areas as well, but these are the most significant,” Lech said.

Ost said the district will have $25,612,622 in projected revenue for the 2014-15 school year, and $26,471,276 in expenditures for a projected deficit of $858,653.

The board also took time to recognize the contributions of departing board members Roy Musland, Shelly Jystad and Tanya Ostlie. Musland had served on the board for 12 years including three years as board president, Ostlie served for eight years, and Jystad served for four years.

“I’d like to thank the public and the school district for this privilege of serving the district, serving the students and the families,” Jystad said, adding a quote from Mark Twain: “If you find yourself always on the side of the majority, it may be time to pause and reflect.”

The board welcomed new members Mindi Schmitz, Bob Toso and Brenda Roemmich.

The board also:

* approved the hiring of Danielle Woodward as a special education teacher at Gussner Elementary School and Samantha Pyle as a music teacher for the elementary schools.

* approved the first reading of the district’s new medication dispensation policy.

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at