The Clay Community School Corporation Board of Trustees is looking at ways to save money.
During the Thursday regular meeting, the board had a discussion on forming a cost saving committee, which would be composed of school board members, administration and community members.
"I would only like to have two or three board members because I don't want to have to advertise this," Supt. Dan Schroeder said. "The public is welcome to attend, but this allows us more latitude to get together as a group and then decide on how many people can meet."
During the July meeting, board member Ron Scherb asked Schroeder to come up with a cost savings plan of $500,000. It was then suggested that a committee be formed to come up with the plan.
"It seems to me that we need to start thinking and creating," Scherb said. "To see how creative we can be to keep those teachers in the classroom."
Creating an action plan now, before the corporation receives any word about the amount of additional cuts it is to receive from the state, would hopefully lessen the blow in the future.
"Whatever it takes to keep those ISTEP+ (Indiana Statewide Testing for Education Progress-Plus) scores rising," Scherb said. "That is why I am here,"
In another effort to save the corporation money, the idea was mentioned to purchase two or three vehicles for corporation staff instead of mileage reimbursement.
Business Manager Mike Fowler sent a report to the board members breaking down the ownership of a vehicle versus the mileage. When he was asked to do the report, Fowler went to local vendors to receive the information.
"What I took upon myself was to follow (Fowler's) procedure, and I did call outside the county," board member Amy Adams said.
She discovered that there is one dealership that would reduce its profits.
"I didn't share the numbers we had, I just asked what they could do for these same vehicles," she said. "If we pursue this route, then we can save $7,883. If they sell us the same vehicles."
Members of the administration have been using their personal vehicles to conduct business and then been reimbursed for a monthly rate for their expenses. The reimbursement checks include the gasoline, the wear and tear on the car and insurance, at a rate of 45-cents per mile. Adams continued to say how the checks range anywhere from $300-$500 in a month's time depending upon the amount of work that is done in that time frame.
"When you look at it from a family or a taxpayer point of view, $300 or $400 a month is a pretty good car payment," she said. "So looking at this, maybe we should look at buying three vehicles and have something the corporation owns."
She went on to say how if the corporation bought new vehicles and maintained them, then they would get many years out of them.
"For taxpayer purposes you would get more value for your dollar if you bought it," she said. "It would be like renting an apartment for 10 or 30 years instead of paying a mortgage. At the end you may have maintained your house and paid electric, but in the end you own it when you pay off that mortgage. Where as if you rent, you don't."
She went on to say how if the corporation continued to go along with an average reimbursement then in 10 years they will have paid out an average of $144,000 to three administrators and not own anything.
"If we bought three vehicles, then we would use that money to maintain those three vehicles and at the end of 10 years we will still have owned three vehicles," Adams said.
She also looked at the mileage that would be on the vehicles as indicated in Fowler's report and conceded the corporation could get a good resale from the vehicles, at 10 years a Ford Fusion would only have 76,000 miles, Ford 150 4-wheel drive would only have 120,000 miles and a Ford Ranger 4-wheel drive would only have 52,000 miles on it.
The estimates did involve the cost of insurance with a total of $2,250 for all three vehicles.
"I have gone over some of the other information and I felt like there was a savings rather than a loss," board member Tina Heffner said. "I felt like we broke even probably within a matter of five or six years. I do think it is a cost savings to the taxpayer."
Heffner asked that the item be included on the agenda for next month to discuss it further. The board unanimously voted to table the matter until the September meeting.