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Nevis School audit indicates healthy fund balance

The Nevis School audit showed a decrease in the unassigned fund balance of 4 percent, mostly due to approximately $500,000 in major capital outlays for the girls locker room renovation and work on the gym floor and roof due to issues with water damage that were not covered by insurance. These one-time expenses brought the unassigned fund balance to 17 percent in 2016-2017 compared with 21 percent in the 2015-2016 audit.

"Anything over 10 percent is considered healthy," said Brian Opsal of Brady, Martz and Associates, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants at Monday's school board meeting.

According to Opsal, Nevis Schools are financially sound with a general fund balance of $1,154,254, as of June 30, 2017. That is down $173,026 (4 percent) from the 2016 fund balance of $1,327,280.

Total revenue from all sources during this fiscal year was $6,505,464, while total expenses were $6,800,797. Only $510,573 of general fund dollars came from local property tax levies. The largest contributor to revenue was the state, which contributed $5,497,607.

The board moved to approve the FY 2017 audit.

Another item discussed at the meeting was the almost $10 million line item increase in pensions, which the audit report showed increased from $6,788,893 in 2016 to $16,695,808 in the 2017. This new GASB requirement shows the projected net pension liability for retirement payouts into the future.

Food service ended the year with a positive fund balance of $103,894.

"You could use that money for kitchen equipment or other needs to spend down this fund," Opsal said.

Superintendent Parks credits Head Cook Pat Havnes whose conservative spending allowed this account to grow.

The community service fund had a deficit of $100,944, something Opsal said is mostly due to the Community Education program which includes Early Childhood Family Education, Pre-Kindergarten and Learning Readiness. This fund has historically operated at a deficit with money transferred in from the district periodically.

Brady Martz issued an unmodified and clean opinion of the district.

"You guys did an awesome job," Opsal said.

In other business, Nevis School Board members did the following:

• Approved the payment of bills in the amount of $284,502.

• Heard revenue increased 10 percent compared to last month.

• Approved a contract for Principal Brian Michaelson with a salary of $89,610.

• Approved long-term substitute Kristena Benson to cover for an elementary teacher who is on maternity leave.

• Approved contracts for Crystal Bessler as the junior high girls basketball coach, Tom Ahrendt as junior high boys basketball coach and Dustin Wroolie as robotics mentor.

• Approved the Master Agreement with Classified Union No. 2768.

• Learned from Michaelson that monthly attendance for the high school was 97.38 percent and attendance at the elementary school was at 94.5 percent, both up from last year. Discipline incidents have decreased from 240 in October 2016 to 84 this October. Michaelson said he believes it's largely due to the implementation of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support program this fall.

The Nevis School Board will hold a work session Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The next regular meeting will be Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in the school media center.

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