The Dickson County School Board gave final approval to a $61.7 million budget for 2013-14 that does not ask for any additional operating revenue from the county and will take an estimated $3.2 million from reserves to balance. The budget approved Thursday night and forwarded to the county commission’s Budget Committee totally eliminates the annual $1 million payment made toward the county’s debt, which was proposed to be reduced to $750,000 in the first draft of the new budget. Mayor Bob Rial’s county debt service budget proposal includes an anticipated almost $800,000 payment from the school system. Board Chairman Tim Potter said to include the annual debt payment would force the school system to drain its fund balance to a point well below the recommended 3 percent reserve. As approved Thursday, the budget proposes to start the fiscal year with a $5.4 million fund balance and use $3.2 million, leaving the school system with a projected $2.2 million reserve by the end of June 2014. School officials have said they prefer to keep a reserve of at least one month’s operating expenses, which would be $4 million, while the recommended practice from state auditors is to maintain at least 3 percent of the overall operating expenses in reserve, which would be about $1.8 million. Potter said to make the annual debt payment would either put the school system’s fund balance at a dangerously low level or force the system to either cut teaching positions or educational opportunities for students. The budget also does not include any money to fund a turning lane on Highway 96 that was requested by the town of Burns or any funds for school safety improvements recommended by a special committee. The budget will be forwarded to the county and is scheduled to be reviewed by the commission’s Budget Committee on June 3.