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Region 9 Returns $100K to Easton, Redding

EASTON, Conn. — A surplus of $100,000 — from savings in transportation, heating, oil and other costs — will be returned to Easton and Redding, the Board of Education decided in a vote at a Tuesday night meeting. The money will be divided proportionately between the towns.

An additional $53,613 in surplus was tranferred to the board's capital improvement budget and $50,000 was allocated to pensions.

Thus far in the 2011-12 operating budget, the Region 9 school district is seeing a shortfall in workers' compensation, with a 20 percent increase. The board budgeted $95,000 and is expecting an increase of $18,000. The claims are being investigated, said Peggy Sullivan, director of finance and operations. There is also a shortfall in deisel fuel and heating oil of about $16,000.

But Sullivan said the board is "still in the black" because of a surplus in transportation of about $25,000, garbage disposal of about $12,000 and electricity of about $40,000.

The high school's new teachers saved the town about $67,000 more than the budgeted amount of savings. Thomas McMorran, head of school, said this is because the school hired people beginning their second careers or who are strong beginning teachers.

The board will also look to re-fund two of its debt issues — one from 2003 and one from 2005 — which could recognize a savings of nearly $200,000 in 2011-12 and a total of more than $600,000, Sullivan said.

Do you think the Region 9 Board of Education should have returned the money to the towns? Leave your comments in the box below.

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