At the November 22 meeting, the Fillmore Central School Board heard from Jason Boyton, audit principal for Smith Schafer. There were no compliance issues noted. The firm conducted a single audit due to federal funding over the $7,000 threshold.
Average Daily Membership (AMD) for 2022 stands at 265 in grades 7-12, 265 in grades 1-6, and 51 in kindergarten and preschool. The district saw a slight increase in 2018, but the 7% decline has been a trend since 2016.
District revenue summary shows state aid continues to be the highest source of funding. Federal Aid was the second highest for the year, with property taxes and other sources following behind. “The state aid leveled off,” noted Boyton. “There was an increase in formula, offset by the student decrease. The big change is federal funding. There’s been a lot since COVID.” Sources of other revenue were notably similar to comparable districts.
The property tax levy of $1.7 million, up from the previous year, is broken into various funds including the General Fund (operations, wages, etc.), Community Service, Debt Service, and OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits).
The bulk of expenditures for the district is costs related to regular instruction at roughly $3.8 million for the year. “There’s a lot of federal dollars flowing through there,” stated Boynton. Special education sits at just over $1 million, as does pupil support. Site, buildings, and equipment was just under $1.5 million. According to Boynoton, the district paid $718,000 in debt service.
Overall, General Fund revenues exceed expenditures with $8.6 million taken in and $8.3 million spent. The unassigned balance remains just over $1.4 million. The restricted portion of the fund, restricted by the state, is just over $1 million. The assigned portion of the fund, set aside for future needs and used by board discretion, is just over $2 million. Boynton noted the assigned portion was up for the year due to facility and technology costs.
Food Service has a nice surplus at $312,127. “With high food costs, it’s not bad having a surplus there,” noted Boynton. Community Service also maintains positive fund balance.
The district currently has four bonds outstanding equating to roughly $4.5 million owed. There is an alternative facilities general obligation (GO) bond from 2010, a second alternative facilities GO bond in 2012, a GO alternative and capital facilities bond in 2014, and a 2017 OPEB refunding bond. In total, these will require roughly $650,000 per year from the district.
Regular instruction cost per ADM, which includes classroom instruction, Title I, paraprofessionals, district secretaries, and extracurricular activities, sits at $6,613. This is higher than other districts with a student population ranging from 500-999 students and the state average. “There was an increase over last year and a larger increase last year,” said Boynton. The general fund cost per ADM is also higher at $14,343, up from $12,700 in the previous year. Without federal funding, this is $13,100 which is just under the state average.
“We’re right in the ballpark where we have been,” concluded Boynton. The board approved the audit unanimously.
The district also approved personnel hiring and a resignation, the annual World’s Best Workforce annual report, a polling places resolution, and open enrollment requests.
During reports, Superintendent Heath Olstad highlighted the football team’s drive to state playoffs, which ended recently at the Class 1A Semifinal. “What an amazing memory for all our athletes, coaches, community, and staff,” he enthused. “What an amazing experience for all. Hats off to the athletes, coaches, and in-community support.”
Winter activities are now underway. “It’s all rolling. It’s an exciting time there, too,” he added.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Tuesday, December 20, at the elementary school in Preston. The time has been bumped up to 6:01 p.m. in order to order hold the Truth in Taxation meeting.