CPSB facing $3 million deficit, surprised at bat-removal cost - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

CPSB facing $3 million deficit, surprised at bat-removal cost

(Source: CPSB) (Source: CPSB)
(Source: CPSB) (Source: CPSB)
(Source: CPSB) (Source: CPSB)
(Source: CPSB) (Source: CPSB)
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

The Calcasieu Parish School Board's budget committee typically revises their budget three times a year.

According to the latest figures, they're in the hole. But one of the costs in there was something officials say they couldn't have planned for.

Referring to the projected 2014-2015 projected budget, Karl Bruchhaus, Chief Financial Officer for the Calcasieu Parish School Board said, "The board preliminarily adopted a budget tonight, it will be finalized in July that will project about a $3 million deficit for that year."

But on Thursday, members of the budget committee learned about one maintenance expenditure that was unexpected.

"We had a significant bat infestation at Sulphur High School this year," said Bruchhaus.

Bruchhaus says it was so bad they had to call in a hurricane cleanup company to handle the situation.

While it got a chuckle from board members, laughter turned into shock when they learned it cost them nearly $300,000.

But Bruchhaus says it had to be fixed, "Compared to having 22 classrooms in a building shut down for three weeks in a big high school it had to be fixed and it had to be fixed quickly."

Another unexpected factor in their budget was the MFP. Bruchhaus says they assumed they would get their $3 million unattached; to allow them to offset various increases, but legislators had a different plan.

"Right at the end they came back and said if you remember the supplement we gave last year that was supposed to be a one-time deal from the state where we were required to give $561 per teacher, we gave $600, we rounded it up. We are now required to put that $561 into the teacher salary schedule for next year, as a permanent increase," explained Bruchhaus.

Despite a few curveballs, officials are working to balance the budget.

And although it's a projected deficit, overall, Bruchhaus says they're still in good financial shape.

"We have about $37 million in reserves, this $3 million will come out of that," assured Bruchhaus.

There was some good news tonight. Bruchhaus announced they're saving $150,000 this year in property insurance by going directly through Lloyd's of London.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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