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Brandon auditor: 'District really on the ball'

October 19, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- It appears the school board will achieve the 10 percent fund balance they wanted this year afterall.

The 2011 preliminary audit results are in and show that while the district had actual revenues of $29.36 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, roughly $561,000 less than the $29.93 million budgeted for, the district spent $921,000 less than expected, with actual expenditures of $30.10 million compared to the $31.02 million planned for in the final budget. As a result, the ending fund balance will have $360,000 more than expected, taking it to $3,038,364, or 10.09 percent.

"We spent less in fund equity than we anticipated," said Superintendent Lorrie McMahon. "We won't have the final numbers until the board approves, but it looks like the results are good. It's a credit to the district and everyone working together to make sure that happens."

The board passed the 2011 budget on June 30, just hours under the state deadline, and only a day after a vote to approve the district budget failed. Controversy centered around a general fund balance that hovered around 5.61 percent. Several boardmembers were expecting a minimum fund balance of 7 percent and rejected the original proposed budget for its failure to meet that standard. The board had previously expressed a goal of having the fund balance at or near 10 percent.

Anita Abrol, managing principal for Lewis & Knopf, presented the audit results to the school board finance committee at a meeting Oct. 17.

"There are no issues," said Abrol. "The district is really on the ball, this is a very good audit report. They have a lot of challenges right now, but they have a diligent staff."

According to the audit report, the district received a "clean" audit opinion, the highest level of assurance possible for the district's financial statements.

The report shows that 79 percent of the district's revenues come from the state, with other sources being local, 8 percent; federal, 7 percent; and other, 6 percent.

Salaries account for 52 percent of the district's expenditures, with another 31 percent going to employee benefits; 7 percent to supplies; 6 percent to purchased services; 3 percent to 'other'; and 1 percent to capital outlay.

The audit report shows the district has nearly $114.3 million in long-term debt, including $64,775,000 from 2006 building and site bonds; $20,750,000 from 2008 refunding bonds; $22,009,930 from Michigan School Bond Loan Fund Principal; $5,752,638 in Michigan School Bond Loan Fund Accrued Interest; and $845,156 from an employee severance plan.

The audit will be presented to the full board at a special school board meeting, planned for 6 p.m., Nov. 7, at the central district office, 1025 S. Ortonville Road.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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