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Audit shows district's moving in a positive direction

Park Rapids School Board members reviewed the fiscal year audit this week, the district's fund balance decreasing slightly from last year.

"But compared with two years ago, you've come a long way," Brian Stavenger of Eide Bailly told the board.

The district's general fund balance at year's end was $1,085,758, a decrease of $8,401 from the beginning of the year.

"But this is approximately $295,000 better than what you'd budgeted for," Stavenger pointed out. A $303,316 decrease in the general fund balance had been anticipated.

Revenues in 2009 totaled $15,263,785, a 7.6 percent decrease, while expenditures were up by .5 percent, at $15,511,835.

Most districts' fund balances are 10 to 15 percent of expenditures, Stavenger said in response to a question from superintendent Glenn Chiodo. These amounts would be $1.6 million and $2.3 million, respectively, in Park Rapids.

Stavenger recommends the general fund balance be maintained at 20 to 25 percent of expenditures, $3.1 million, $3.9 million, respectively.

Park Rapids' fund balance is half the size of similar districts', Stavenger said.

Stavenger cautioned the district to "be aware of cash flow issues," pending the change in aid payments. In fiscal year 2009, approximately 90 percent of aid payments were made in the current fiscal year, with the remaining 10 percent paid in the subsequent year.

Beginning in FY2010, approximately 73 percent of aid payments will be made in the current fiscal year, while the remaining will be paid in the subsequent year.

Stavenger presented a graph showing the district's declining average daily enrollment, 1,902 students in 2000 compared with 1,499 in 2009.

General fund revenue sources for the $15.3 million budget in 2008-09 were state, 76.9 percent; federal, 5.3 percent; local, 11.5 percent, and other, 6.3 percent. These percentages have not changed appreciably, but Chiodo noted the state is reducing funding due to increased federal sources.

Salary and benefits account for 78.6 percent of expenditures, this is up slightly from 2008's 75.7 percent.

In other action, the board:

-Approved the resignation of occupational therapist Anne Toy, "with regret and thanks for her five years of dedication to the students."

-Approved the resignation of Jackie Griffin as middle school softball coach.

-Approved Nic Lembcke as freshman girls basketball coach, Eric Hillesland as middle school girls basketball coach, Josh Cook as assistant varsity boys basketball coach, Eric Pilgrim as middle school boys basketball coach and Aaron Moses, volunteer assistant football coach.

-Set a closed negotiations session for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10.