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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — With $322,052 left over from the 2019-2020 budget, the Colfax school district’s Fund 46 (capital projects) now has nearly $460,000.
The Colfax Board of Education held an audit review and a budget review July 13 before the regular school board meeting but actually transferred the money to Fund 46 during the school board meeting.
Schools were closed statewide in mid-March because of COVID-19, so the Colfax school district had a full quarter of being shut down — no regular bus routes, no athletics, no field trips. With the students working from home, “we did business differently,” said William C. Yingst Jr., district administrator, during the audit review meeting.
Putting the money into Fund 46 will help the school district with maintenance projects, he said.
Some years back, school districts had the option of forming a Fund 46. The district could transfer money into the fund, where it was required to remain for five years, and then the money could be used for a list of projects the Board of Education had designated when Fund 46 was established.
Colfax started its Fund 46 with $500, noted Todd Kragness, school board president.
If the money is not transferred to Fund 46 and remains in the general fund, the school district will not receive state aid for the money, Yingst said.
The five-year waiting period for Colfax’s Fund 46 ended in June, so the school district can now use the money, he noted.
Fund 46 has a “nice chunk of money (for) big ticket items. It was a good move to start the account,” Yingst said.
During the regular school board meeting’s discussion of transferring the money to Fund 46, Ken Bjork, school board member, noted $320,000 remaining in the school district’s budget at the end of the year “is unheard of” and that the revenue and expense budgets are generally much closer than several hundred thousand dollars.
Yingst agreed and reiterated that the closing of the school district created unusual budget circumstances.
After the audit that had been completed the Friday before the audit review meeting, a total of $138,699 was in Fund 46.
After the transfer of $320,000 was approved, the Fund 46 total was $458,699.
Yingst recommended leaving out the $2,052 “just in case” a last-minute invoice from the 2019-2020 budget should need to be paid.
During the regular meeting, the Colfax Board of Education unanimously approved transferring $320,000 to Fund 46.
The Colfax school district had revenue of $9,570,640 during 2019-2020 and expenses of $8,528,574.
As of June 30, 2019, Fund 10 (general fund) had a balance of $1,859,446.
The general fund balance as of June 30, 2020, had a balance of $2,181,498, which included the $322,052, of which $320,000 was transferred to Fund 46.
Fund 21, the donations fund, had a balance of $129,010 as of June 30, with revenue for the year of $93,000 and expenses of $5,041 for total income of $87,959.
The Fund 21 balance as of June 30, 2019, was $41,051.
New regulations require the student activity account to be rolled into Fund 21, Yingst said.
The student activity account currently has about $60,000, he said.
The Fund 21 total includes $80,000 from the Dee Clark Trust, Yingst said.
Fund 27, the special education fund, had a balance of zero as of June 30.
Fund 27 must always zero out at the end of the year, Yingst said.
The special education fund had revenue of $463,827 for 2019-2020 and expenses of $1,177,872.
Fund 38 and Fund 39 are debt service funds.
Fund 38 had a balance of $42,224 as of June 30, which represents the second half of annual loan payments for the school district, Yingst said.
The loan payments must come from Fund 38. Tax levy cannot be used for debt payments, so money must be transferred into the fund, he said.
Fund 39 contains referendum money for loan payments and had revenue of $414,072 and expenditures of $364,362.
Fund 49 also is a capital projects account, but it is closed now and remains as a placeholder, Yingst said.
The fund is a referendum project account, and because the referendum projects are required to be completed within three years of the referendum being approved by voters, all of the referendum projects have been completed, he said.
Fund 50 is the food service account.
As of June 30, Fund 50 had a balance of $163,778. The balance was much higher, but the school district has been replacing equipment in the kitchen, such as the built-in freezer and cooler, stainless steel food preparation tables and new shelving, Yingst said.
The food service account had revenue of $434,516 and expenses of $511,308 for 2019-2020.
The fund balance as of June 30, 2019, was $240,570.
While the school district was closed and students were working from home, the school district was delivering meals to students, Yingst said.
The school district received money from the federal CARES act for the COVID-19 response, but the school district did not receive any lunch money from parents, he said.
Bus drivers and other school personnel were paid for delivering meals, Yingst noted.
There are also plans to give a “facelift” to the kitchen serving areas, he said.