The completion of paving parking spaces near the Pella High School Athletic Complex was given approval at Monday’s Pella School Board meeting. Bidding for the project will be let on June 17th, with a contract to be chosen by June 21st on the $128,000 project. Pella Schools Superintendent Mark Wittmer tells KNIA/KRLS News that it is important for the public to understand that the project was previously budgeted using funds that are established for a specific purpose.
“The capital improvement piece is one of those things where we have dollars to spend, [but] we can’t use that money for salaries, we can’t use that money for programs, we have to use it for a physical plant improvement project.”
Wittmer adds that the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy funds, or PPEL, which do not come from the district’s general fund, are a part of the often confusing system of school finances.
“I know it looks strange where [people say], ‘How can you be spending money paving a parking lot, when you just got through making budget adjustments and in some cases cutting personnel and things like that,’ but that’s the reason for it – because of how school finance works,” said Wittmer. “That’s a fund that we cannot use for salaries and benefits; it has to be used for physical improvements.”
Once a contract for the parking lot project is approved, goals are to have construction underway in July.