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Brandon District finances better than expected

August 31, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- The school district appears to be in better financial condition than expected.

Steve Lenar, executive director of fiscal affairs, announced at the Aug. 30 finance committee meeting that revenues have exceeded expenditures for the 2010-2011 school year by about $243,000. He stressed that this is strictly a preliminary estimate as the district prepares for an official audit by Lewis & Knopf that will begin Sept. 19.

"You can expect more variation, but not more than $300,000 and not less than $200,000," Lenar said. "We are in great shape to move forward to the audit."

There are more than 2,500 line items in the district's $30 million budget and Lenar is pleased with the less than 1 percent variance in the budget.

"We are 99 percent correct," he said. "The budget is a plan and that is what we planned for. What happened was a little better than we planned for... In the big picture, this is a very good standard."

While the district is doing better than expected, the board doesn't appear to be making plans to spend the $240,000. Lenar advised keeping it in the fund balance and Superintendent Lorrie agreed.

"Until the audit is final the numbers are preliminary and we won't consider any action, but with the continued decrease in funding at this time, there are no spending plans for those dollars," she said.

The money may offset the expected loss of about $750,000 in revenue for the district for the 2012-2013 school year due to the elimination of federal edujobs funding.

McMahon also anticipates that the fund balance will be over 7 percent with this year's expected excess revenue, so there will be revenue sharing with district employees. The contract ratified this spring stipulates that if the fund balance exceeds 7 percent, the district will share 50 percent of the amount that is over the 7 percent this year.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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