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Lanesboro School District discusses referendum


Fri, Oct 22nd, 2010
Posted in Education

Certified public accountant Pam Ristau was at the Lanesboro School Board meeting on October 19 to give a report of her recent audit for 2009-2010.

Ristau said the general fund unreserved or undesignated fund balance increased by $251,847. The net assets also increased by $68,440 during the year. District-wide revenues were $4,135,472, and expenses were $3,710,276.

Ristau said the food service fund is doing really well, better than many schools, but the community education fund is in the negative, as it decreased by $31,094. It now is at a negative $29,387. Ristau said the daycare is a big part of the community service, and the economy has created problems this year, as some people have pulled their kids out or don't need daycare anymore.

The total general fund has a loss of $200,000 this year. Ristau said they have had more capital purchases this year than last year. The district purchased a house on the block, two buses, and some equipment. They also traded in a bus and sold an old computer.

The total fund balance of the district is $3,608,117.

Ristau also spoke about the debt service fund. The district paid off some debt that was almost a million dollars. They refinanced a bond from 1990. Their long-term debt is down to two general obligation bonds.

Since the board was missing two members, they decided to wait until the others could look the report over before approving the 2009-2010 audit.

Operating Referendum

Superintendent Jeff Boggs said the school has had a $300 per resident student referendum since 2000-2001. He said that at the time they didn't need the money from the city residents, but the state was promoting referendums to shift the burden of paying from the schools. They were also part of a 3:1 match from the state. For every dollar that tax payers gave the school, the state gave three dollars.

"It was a great deal," said Boggs. "It's the reason we're in great shape now. We banked a lot of money."

Boggs said the money was managed well over the years, and although there was a little dip this year, Lanesboro still has a strong fund balance. He doesn't believe the referendum is necessarily necessary at this time.

The district no longer receives that 3:1 match. Boggs said it has been dropping every year. This last year the residents gave $70,000 and the state gave $10,000, which is about fifteen cents on the dollar.

"We're heading for tough economic times," said Boggs. "But right now we are in pretty good shape." He added they have reserve money they can always dip into.

Boggs suggested the board discuss dropping the referendum for the next year. The referendum they have right now will expire at the end of the year. If they would like to continue with that referendum, people will have to vote on it at the election.

Board member Sara Decker asked if it would be possible to get that referendum back if they feel they need it. Boggs said they can go back to the voters and ask for a referendum at any time, if they feel they need it in the future. They are going to discuss this more at the next meeting.

Coaches

The school board approved the winter sports coaching contracts. Boggs said John Smith will be the head boys' basketball coach, with Chris Hanson the first assistant. Ryan Scheevel and Brett Kline will be the second assistants for boys' junior high basketball. For girls' basketball, Lindsay Mace will be the head coach, with Chris Anderson coaching junior high. Boggs said they are still looking for a B-squad coach, and that Fillmore Central has already approved the hire of the wrestling coaches.

Other Business

The board approved moving $17,000 from the reserved fund to the general fund. Boggs explained this is money that is reserved for two employees for when they retire. There are two employees that were hired years ago when the district would reimburse teachers for up to 120 days of sick time if they hadn't used it up when they retired. This rule is no longer in effect. Ristau said the state does not allow them to keep this money in a reserved fund anymore. The approval was made retroactive to June 30, 2010.

The board will be meeting at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, November 5, to approve the election results.

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