While students will be going back to in-class learning on Tuesday, the pandemic has taken a financial toll on some parts of the school district. Especially hard hit have been the athletic and food services departments, causing the board of education to look at those areas.

Willard City Schools Superintendent Jeff Ritz said the athletic department is not in very good shape right now.

On a normal gate for girls or boys basketball, the athletic department will collect just under $600 per game. Ritz said ticket sales are restricted to family members of players making for a marked reduction in the number of fans allowed inside the Haas gymnasium.

It costs athletic director Joe Crawford approximately $308 to hold a freshman, junior varsity or varsity game. Ritz said Crawford is making approximately $200 per game to put into his department’s coffers.

“That’s not paying for any other sport or the officials,” Ritz pointed out. “The good thing with that is I have always required him since I’ve been doing this to carry over about $30,000 that he had every year. Just in case of an emergency. He is almost through that.”

Once that money is depleted, Ritz said he will go to the board of education. The request will be to cover the athletic department costs.

Cynthia Shoup, treasurer for the Willard City Schools, said Crawford has approximately $44,000 in his budget.

“They didn’t like it when I told them you have to carry this much over in case of an emergency,” Ritz pointed out. “They need it for the emergency.”

Shoup said the board of education will probably be asked to supplement food services. The department is bringing in approximately $45,000 per month. That department has employees to pay and healthcare costs and food costs.

“It’s a different distribution of food,” Shoup pointed out. “It’s not the bulk foods. She’s (food service director) trying everything she can to come up with creative ideas.”

For some costs, Shoup said the district has been able to use some of the money from the COVID pandemic. Those items included a fogger and items for the cafeteria to use when they deliver food to the classrooms.

Ritz said he was notified that the computer that runs the HVAC is five years old.

“You’re going to say it’s fairly new,” he told board members. “They just sent us something saying that the software for that is out of compliance. It’s no longer up to date.

“It still functions the same way,” Ritz pointed out. “Basically, they’ve come out with new software. That, and the computer to run it which we are going to need to purchase, is $50,000.

“I told them we are going to put it off until we absolutely need to upgrade and purchase it,” he told board members. “Meaning when this stops working or malfunctions. Just know that bill is coming. All I am doing is pushing it down the road.”

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