Auditor: Boyceville school district in fine financial shape

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE   —  The Boyceville Community School District received a “clean opinion” on the audit for the 2013-2014 school year and had a general fund balance of $2.3 million, representing 27 percent of revenue or expenditures.

Jim Murray, an accountant with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLC, reported on the school district’s finances at the Boyceville Board of Education’s December 8 meeting.

A clean opinion is the highest level of approval, Murray told the school board.

The state Department of Public Instruction will not accept any audit report that does not have a clean opinion, and the DPI would require the school district to make corrections before accepting a report that had less than a clean opinion, he noted.

The general fund balance of $2,327,333, representing 27 percent of the revenue or expenditures, is a healthy fund balance, Murray said.

The minimum percentage of fund balance to revenue or expenditures is 15 percent, and the maximum is 50 percent, he said, adding that while municipalities often carry higher fund balances, school districts tend to be at the lower end.

The school district short-term borrows every year to fill the gap until state aid arrives.

In 2013-2014, the short-term borrowing was $500,000, which compared to $1 million the previous year and $1.5 million the year before that, Murray said.

The school district had a total equity of $5.95 million, Murray reported.

The capital assets of $7.8 million contained 37 percent of depreciable assets with more than 60 percent of the service life left in the buildings, he said.

If the percentage of service life left in the buildings was  quite a bit lower than 60 percent, it would  indicate the school district has been deferring maintenance, Murray said.

“Boyceville is in good shape for buildings,” he said.

The school district’s general obligation debt for 2012 had an interest rate of between 2 percent and 2.5 percent. Earlier general obligation debt has a higher interest rate, Murray said.

The school district may want to consider refinancing the earlier debt, he noted.

A budget comparison revealed that the school district’s revenue budget for 2013-2014 was $8.27 million, but the school district actually took in $8.36 million, representing $88,000 more in revenue than was anticipated from grants and other funding sources, Murray said.

The expenditure budget for 2013-2014 was $7.32 million, compared to actual expenditures of $7.295 million, meaning that the school district’s expenses were $25,640 under budget, he said.

Murray said that the differences between the school district’s revenue and expense budgets and the actual amounts were quite close and that the school district had done a good job of budgeting.

The school district’s food service account had an ending balance of $140,372, and the community service account had an ending balance of $145,225, Murray said, adding that both the food service and community service balances are in “good shape.”

The food service expenses exceeded the revenue by $6,428 in 2013-2014, but the previous year, food service had a surplus, and in 2013-2014, the school district purchased food service equipment, he said.

Murray said he expected that food service would have a surplus again this year.

Other business

In other business, the Boyceville  Board of Education:

• Learned that the early childhood through second grade holiday concert will be held Monday, December 22, at 7 p.m. Students in grades three through five will perform at the spring concert.

• Learned that this past weekend, the Boyceville Science Olympiad meet had more than 90 teams that competed, some from as far away as Florida. The Boyceville Science Olympiad meet is one of the largest in the nation.

• Approved hiring Sarah Ulrich as a full-time bus driver. Ulrich had previously been a substitute bus driver on bus number 302.

• Approved hiring Michael Roemhild as the varsity baseball coach to replace Tim Engel.

• Approved a resolution amending the school district’s 403(b) plan to allow eligible employees and former employees to make Roth contributions to the plan.

• Approved a service contract agreement with Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) No. 11   for the E-Rate Service, which includes acting as a contact for all funding requests, program integrity reviews, audits and appeals. The contract agreement is for 5 percent of the prior year E-Rate allocation, with a minimum of $950 and a maximum of $3,500.