Trustees with the Foothills School Division board got an update on finances at their last meeting.

Assistant superintendent Drew Chipman says COVID is still having an impact.

"Because of the pandemic and because of people needing to take additional time, our sub costs and out leaves have been high this year but we've been able to make some changes and we feel like we're going to be pretty close to our projected deficit which is a $1-million to $1.5-million, and we're starting the process, actually more than starting the budget process for next year and it does allow us to meet some of those needs, so we're encouraged to be able to budget appropriately for next year."

"We're not going to be able to run a deficit next year because our numbers are to the point where our surpluses are going to be minimal so we're going to have to balance our budget next year, luckily we're having to do that at a time when we have received some extra money," he says.

Chipman says the division's taken a real hit because of the carbon tax.

"The carbon tax, you know that's cost us about $100,000, school divisions have no ability to make any real difference with that, there's some significant increases that that's caused us on our natural gas and our power. Some of those increased costs have really started to become noticeable."

Inflation has also been tough adding extra costs to bus repairs and parts and really any materials they've been buying.