The Southwestern Jefferson County school board gave residents a first glimpse into the 2020 district budget Monday night, which proposes an incremental increase of 0.14 percent in total advertised tax rates.

Southwestern schools treasurer Laura Boldery explained the new budget at a public hearing before Monday night’s regular school board meeting. It sets aside $14,626,098 in appropriations, but the actual number is expected to be smaller after state review, as it usually is each year.

“It’s kind of guesswork right now,” Boldery said. “I advertise high, and then after we have our adoption hearing, the Department of Local Government Finance will come back, and they will cut the budget wherever they feel like we have overadvertised or we don’t have the funds to fund it.”

Included in that budget is a 25-year bus-replacement plan and a three-year capital project plan for building maintenance, facilities projects and technology.

Boldery said the bus plan projects a replacement of three new buses a year from budget year 2020 to 2023. The total estimated cost for the first four years of the plan is about $1,395,000, according to the taxpayer notice provided at the meeting.

The capital project plan, on the other hand, will provide for roof repairs, painting projects, elevators at the middle and high school and repaving the track, among other work.

This is estimated to cost the district $2,864,000, the taxpayer notice said. It also provides for new Chromebooks, teacher laptops, Promethean boards and a camera replacement, which will total $715,000.

Boldery also pointed out that the tax rate on retirement bonds is much smaller this year, by 120 percent, because it’s the last payment the distract will have to make.

The public hearing on the adoption of the revised budget will be Oct. 28, Boldery said.

The board also decided to purchase two used 2006 minibuses for $19,600 for both to help with school athletics and other trips.

Boldery said the district already has some minibuses, but with all of the fall athletics trips, they run short on availability.

Board Vice President John Jones asked Boldery if the minibus purchase would affect the school’s immediate ability to afford another full-sized bus. Boldery assured him it would not, and said the district is likely to buy a new bus by the end of the 2019 budget year if there is any money left in the operations fund.

Also at the meeting, Southwestern accepted $1,400 in donations from four donors. The donors were Greg Leach, who donated $100 for middle school volleyball; L & N Machine, which donated $200 for middle school volleyball; $100 from an anomymous donor for high school cheerleading and $1,000 from another anonymous donor for the Preston Jackson Scholarship.