Technology replacement program begun in Mercer County

Cathy Decker/Staff Reporter
New Mercer County High School principal Gavin Sronce attended his first CUSD #404 school board meeting Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011.

The Mercer County Board of Education CUSD #404 met Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011 and approved a technology replacement program that will rotate in new equipment every three years. There are around 500 computers in the district.

"Some are up to 11 years old," said Superintendent Alan Boucher.

This year approximately one-third of the units will be replaced, the board agreed. The district's budget has set aside $60,000 a year for either purchase or lease. The district also asked for quotes from seven lenders, with just three responses.

Boucher estimated the cost at $152,000 to $153,000 for replacing one-third of the district computers. He plans to use the budgeted $60,000 first, then secure a loan for the remainder. The board approved spending up to $142,124 to purchase computer equipment, on a lease to own program. The board discussed the discrepancy in quotes offered, and suggested the superintendent approach the local bank to see if they will agree to match the low bid.

The board also learned about the this year's budget from the superintendent. He said he expects revenue to be down $1.2 million from what was actually received last year. Part of that amount is lower estimated general state aid, a $495,000 decline.

Boucher estimated the 2011-2012 budget at $11,929,000 in expenditures and $12,598,000 in revenues. Because of rising farmland values Boucher estimates there will be an increase of from $100,000 to $150,000 from property taxes. "We only receive 98 percent of our (property) tax money, because not everybody pays their taxes," he added.