Roy Neff, Dublin Independent School District Superintendent, has his work cut out for him in developing the new budget for the 2007-08 school year.

Escalating costs and a declining student enrollment put Neff in the difficult situation of saying “no” to budget requests he would rather respond to with a “yes.”

During Monday night’s board meeting Neff highlighted some costs that are on the rise.

Copy paper is an item that has gone up tremendously, he said. Last year $13,000 was budgeted and for the next school year Neff predicted a needed $7,000 increase and anticipated budgeting $20,000 for paper purchases.

Last year’s utility budget was $440,000 and the projected amount for next year is $480,000. Food service amounts for last year were budgeted at $212,000 and preliminary work show costs to go as high as $220,000. Neff said he expected to increase gasoline and other fuel by $10,000 for a total of $80,000 but told board members he didn’t know if that amount would be enough. He said he would also add $1,000 to postage purchases for a total of $9,000.

Neff reviewed a list of non-allocated budget requests with the board members and suggested they think about what they would like to see included next year.

Neff said technology costs for the district that will likely be budgeted total $355,000 and include software, hardware, online programs, and license renewals.

Requests that Neff anticipates saying “no” to due include:

A four wheel sport utility vehicle for athletics -$7,000 A scoreboard for the middle school gym - $10,000 A reel mower for athletic fields - $9,000 (used) A 12 x 20 storage building for mowers - $7,000 A shed or canopy for buses and other vehicles - $35,000 Nine digital video camera for school buses - $8,000, Two tennis courts at the high school campus - $175,000 Air conditioning for the middle school gym - $250,000, Air conditioning for the elementary school gym - $150,000 A show barn/swine facility at the ag farm - $560,000 Two new field houses at Memorial Stadium - $500,000 Lighting for baseball and softball fields- $125,000 New regulation track at Memorial Stadium - $125,000

Requests that Neff anticipates approving include:

A pole vault pit - $14,000 (included in last year’s budget but not built) A maintenance pick-up - $8,000 A riding lawn mower - $8,500, Twelve vacuum cleaners - $5,300 A 71-passenger school bus - $70,000.

Neff said he realizes a lot of items on the “no” list are absolutely needed.

When Neff brought up the air conditioning of the middle school gym, Don Keith, board member and athletic booster club president, said his club has received a wish list from coaches that included four commercial fans for each corner of the gym. He said the club had agreed to buy two of them at a cost of $250 each but some at the meeting felt the district should buy the other two.

Neff said the situation was the reason he did not like “wish lists,” because this was the first time he had heard about it.

“I don’t like this process,” Neff said. “It needs to go through proper channels. I don’t like it being dumped here. I’m not saying we won’t get them - we probably will.”

Keith said it was his understanding the request had been brought to the principal at the middle school several times.

Keith also said he would like to see the district purchase a reel mower whenever possible because “tiff grass” is meant to be mowed with a reel rather than a blade as the district is currently using.