ST. FRANCISVILLE — The West Feliciana Parish school system ended the fiscal year June 30 with a general fund operating deficit of $476,021, the School Board’s finance director said Tuesday.

Helen “Ruthie” Davis told the board that the system’s auditors will show a much smaller deficit when they examine the books, however, because the district had another $378,315 left over from a dedicated half-cent sales tax that it is putting into a “rainy day” fund.

The board does not plan to spend the money except in emergencies, but it will show in the audit as lowering the deficit, Davis said.

The special half-cent sales tax, approved last year, brought in $748,207 during 11 months to improve classroom technology, add foreign language teachers and start building a rainy day fund.

The board had hoped to put $500,000 into the emergency fund, but the revenues fell short, Davis said.

The general fund budget for last year had $25.26 million in revenues and $25.74 million in expenses, with the rainy day fund not included, Davis said. The fund balance in the account is $3.3 million, Davis reported.

Davis also reported that $305,593 remains of special donations to restore and preserve the old Julius Freyhan High School, which is next door to the School Board office. A construction fund supported by a property tax levied by the Police Jury, School Board and town of St. Francisville has $30,797 left for projects to benefit recreation.

Other topics included:

LUNCH PRICES: The board agreed to raise school food prices by five cents next school year. Elementary students who pay the full price for meals will be charged $1.30 for breakfast and $1.55 for lunch. The middle and high school prices are $1.55 for breakfast and $1.80 for lunch.

EXTRA MONEY: The board accepted Assistant District Attorney Mike Hughes’ recommendation to accept new appraisals for property expropriated for widening U.S. 61 in front of the middle and high schools. The district will get $502,220 more than the state offered when it took the property, Hughes said.