Wednesday, October 11th, 2017
Board discusses keeping overdose drug at school
By Sydney Albert
COLDWATER - School board members at Tuesday's meeting discussed possibly keeping the anti-opioid overdose drug Narcan on school grounds as a safety measure.
Board member Todd Bills proposed the district have the drug on hand as a safety precaution, much as it has defibrillators and door blocks for use in violent incidents.
Narcan is carried by emergency medical squads and Mercer County sheriff's deputies, according to sheriff's Capt. Doug Timmerman. Every other local law enforcement agency also has access to Narcan through the sheriff's office.
"I hope we never need it, but boy that one time we do," Bills said. "We've got defibrillators on every corner, and you would think the majority of our population have healthy hearts."
Board member Mike Hoying Jr. said he might not have agreed with Bills a year ago but with reports of police officers who simply touch opioids needing anti-overdose drugs, he could see it as a possibility. Opioids such as fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin or through accidental airborne inhalation. Earlier this year an East Liverpool police officer overdosed after brushing the substance off his shirt.
Superintendent Jason Woods said complications could arise when trying to decide who would be in charge of the substance after hours and questioned if doses would need to be available at sporting and other events. He said the topic could be further discussed in the future.
In other business, board members approved the updated five-year financial forecast as presented by district treasurer Michelle Mawer. Coldwater Exempted Village Schools started this year with a healthy cash balance of $5.6 million, but Mawer said board members must continue looking for ways to cut spending in the coming years due to anticipated deficit spending.
Mawer reported that revenues likely would remain essentially flat for the next five years, which she said was a cause for concern.
The district fared better than others in the area from the recent property reappraisal, which showed valuations increasing about $7.8 million - a 4.55 percent increase. However, the current district operating tax revenues are "at their max," she said.
Mawer also predicted income tax revenue would not grow much, accounting for an annual increase of only 2 percent. She reasoned that with the area's low unemployment rate, most people are already working and are therefore already at their highest taxable income potential.
While going over predicted expenditures, Mawer noted options the board could consider to save money in areas such as supplies and materials and capital outlay. She said those were the two areas over which the district would likely have the most control during the coming years of deficit spending. Starting in the year 2019, Mawer gave a flat budget of $400,000 for supplies and materials and $300,000 for capital outlay.
The district is expected to start deficit spending next year, losing about $200,000 during school year 2018-2019, leaving a cash balance of $5.4 million. The deficit spending is expected to increase as expenditures for expenses such as personal services and employee benefits increase. The district is slated to operate at a loss of $880,000 by fiscal year 2022, leaving a cash balance of $3.1 million.
"We started the year with a nice cash balance, but like I said, it can go down quickly," Mawer said.