Nevis School ends fiscal year with healthy fund balance

The Nevis School district ended the fiscal year June 30, 2020 up $366,204 from 2018-19, with a total general fund balance of $1,888,229.

Brian Opsal of Brady, Martz and Associates, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, presented information on the district’s audit report at the Oct. 26 school board meeting via Zoom.

He reported that the unassigned fund balance at the end of the fiscal year was $1,606,638. That’s up from a general unassigned fund balance of $1,210,497 at the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Revenues for the district were about $40,000 more than projected while expenditures were about $207,000 less than projected.

“A good change on both ends,” Opsal said. “Overall, a positive change of about $247,000 to the good on what you projected versus where you actually ended up.”


Opsal said the district’s general fund unassigned fund balance also had a good year.

“We take that number and divide it by your general fund expenditures, and you’re sitting at about 23 percent, which is really right in our target zone,” he said. “Most districts aim for 15 to 25 percent and you’re right there.”

He told board members this audit was done completely off site due to COVID-19 and that he appreciated the help from district staff to obtain all the information he needed.

“We’ve issued a clean, unmodified opinion on the financial statements,” he said.

Opsal noted that the food service net income was up $19,000 while the community service fund was down $6,700. “Due to COVID, a lot of (community education) programs weren’t able to be held in March, April and May,” he said. With a deficit of $50,275 in the community service fund, Opsal suggested possibly transferring some money into that fund in the future.

“It comes out pretty good that we came out on the positive side, as far as the fund balance growing,” Superintendent Gregg Parks said. “But in the springtime, we had expenses we didn’t incur with not having to pay officials for spring sports and less money for transportation, so I’m afraid this audit paints a rosier picture than reality. Next year, we don’t know where the legislature will be with any new monies. The state of Minnesota has a multi-billion dollar deficit that they’re going to have to make up, so at some point in the future, that’s going to trickle down to school districts. We’ll have to make some decisions based on that.”

The board will review the audit for approval at the Nov. 23 school board meeting.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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