School board hears audit report
Yuma School District-1 Board of Education received the audit report for the 2016-17 fiscal year, Monday night during its regular monthly meeting.
The board also approved the mill levy for the 2017 taxable year (to be collected in 2018).
First, though, the audit. Scott Szabo with Lauer, Szabo and Associate presented the report as he does each year. He said it was a clean report, and credited district financial officer Sherry Dennis-Murphy for her work.
Reserves for the General Fund were spent down by more than $900,000, with a balance of $5.8 million at the end of the fiscal year. Szabo noted those funds were used for capital and building projects that were needed. He said a decreasing reserves would be a concern if it was for normal operating costs, but not since it was for one-time expenditures.
Superintendent Dianna Chrisman followed that up, noting the district’s reserves were equal to nine months of operating expenses, so the conscious decision was made to use some of those reserves for needed projects.
Szabo noted the district will get a letter from the state asking why the reserve fund is going down if it does so for a second straight year. The district will receive such a letter because it is spending some reserves on needed capital projects again during the current 2017-18 fiscal year.
Board member Duane Brown pointed out language in the audit stating that expenditures in the Capital Reserve Capital Projects Fund exceeded appropriations by $242,851, which “may be in violation of Colorado Local Government Budget Laws. Szabo said it sounds more ominous than what it actually is, and occurs with a school district when expenses come in right before the end of the fiscal year. Yuma-1 decided to move up some capital projects work toward the end of the fiscal year, resulting in the exceeded appropriations. Szabo said if it comes up again, the board simply needs to approve a supplement to the budget prior to July 1.
Szabo pointed out the district’s funded pupil count is staying very steady, which is important since 86-percent of General Fund revenue — state equalization, property tax and specific ownership tax — is tied to the funded pupil count.
As for expenditures, 78 percent goes to salaries and benefits, which Szabo said falls into the normal range for school districts.
The auditor touched on the Food Service Fund, which had a total of $368,083 in total expenditures last fiscal year. The district made $58,649 in meal sales, and received more than $250,000 in state and federal subsidies. Yuma-1 subsidizes the balance out of the General Fund, which Szabo said is normal for all but the biggest school districts.
The full audit report, totaling more than 70 pages, will be available to the public on the district’s website, yumaschools.org.
Board members voted 4-0 to approve the audit later in the meeting. Dan Ross, Kim Langley, Thomas Holtorf and Brown were in attendance. Lindsey Seward-Galles was absent.
The board unanimously approved a mill levy of 33.635 for property tax revenue, based on a total district valuation of $108 million.
The General Fund levy is set at 18.345 mills as dictated by state law, the mill levy override is at the cap of 8.753 mills, the Bond Redemption Fund levy at 6.469 mills, and Abatement at 0.068.
Brown said he would like to look at the mill levy for Bond Redemption over the next year, to make sure excess funds do not get too high.
• The board acknowledged a donation of $500 from Pat Korf through the Bob Korf Memorial for the YHS Wrestling Activity Fund, and $300 from the Bob Korf Memorial to YHS Special Education. Joseph Prentice also had a $50 donation to the Wrestling Activity Fund. Holtorf later thanked both their donations.
• Recommended hirings approved by the board were: Kara FitzPatrick, MES special education paraprofessional; Michelle Driscoll, Converge Special Education paraprofessional; Camille Perrin, cook; Travis Ritchey, maintenance and substitute bus driver; Chanon Hyde, YHS para; Jeremy Robinson, YHS volunteer assistant girls basketball coach; Liz Karabell, YHS girls C-team basketball coach; Morgan Spencer, YMS girls seventh-grade head basketball coach; Anthony Castillo, YHS wrestling volunteer coach; and Kari Beauprez, transportation stipend.
• Chrisman gave an update on the boiler work to be done at YMS, saying the pipefitters were going to do an inspection in the coming days, and the boiler replacement project should begin in about two weeks.
• The board agreed to move the January meeting from January 8 to January 15, due to everyone just coming back from Christmas break on January 8.