An audit report presented to the Nevis School Board on Monday gave an unmodified, or “clean,” opinion of the district’s accounts for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Auditor Brian Opsahl with Brady, Martz and Associates of Grand Forks, N.D. noted that the district’s general fund unassigned balance of $1,210,497 is consistent with balances during the last five years and, at 17 percent, well within the target range of 15-20 percent of general fund expenditures.

The food service account had a net loss of $19,095 before transfers, Opsahl reported. Superintendent Gregg Parks explained this loss was intentional.

“The fund balance is up around $100,000,” he said. “Every year, we’re getting (advice) from the auditors that you need to spend that down.”

One of the ways this was done, Parks said, was by assigning part of his salary to the food service account. “I am the food service director for the district, but none of my salary in the past had been assigned to that,” he said. “So, we intentionally brought it down to that $60,000 mark.”

The firm’s analysis showed that the school’s combined net position as of June 30, 2019 was a deficit of $304,213, but this was an improvement of more than $1.37 million from the $1,676,219 deficit net position a year earlier. Opsahl said this was primarily due to a change in the formula used to calculate the district’s net pension liability for teachers.

The district’s 2018-19 revenues totaled $7,558,656, while total expenses were $6,186,650.

Capital assets, including land, land improvements, buildings and equipment, had a net total of $6,653,035 with accumulated depreciation.

Long-term liabilities decreased by $7.2 million, from approximately $13,976,000 a year ago to $6,777,000 as of June 30.

Accounting for $4,029,692 of net investment in the district’s capital assets and $542,462 of restricted funds, the remaining unrestricted net position was a deficit of $4,875,367 – a decrease of more than $1 million from last year.

The total cost of all programs and services in 2018-19 was $6,186,650, primarily related to educating and caring for students. Administrative costs accounted for 7 percent of this total. The 2017-18 total cost was $8,804,412.

The net cost of services, offset by charges for services, grants, tax revenue and other unrestricted revenues, was $4,630,454, down from $7,315,483 the prior year.

Comparing actual general fund results to the budget, the audit report noted that actual revenues were $21,936 less than expected, primarily due to the level of education aid received, and actual expenditures were $116,067 more than budgeted, primarily due to instruction costs.

Parks advised the school board to review the audit report, then vote on whether to approve it at their next meeting – 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25 in the school media center.