CD to keep BOE fund at seven figures
BOE seeing low local tax, ELOST fund collections
By Kathryn Schiliro
County school system administration deposited a $2 million certificate of deposit (CD) into the Morgan Board of Education’s general fund last month in an effort to keep seven digits in the pot.
“We didn’t want to end the month with $80,000,” Superintendent Dr. Ralph Bennett told the board Monday night.
The general fund balance at the beginning of September was more than $1.3 million. Following more than $1.4 million in receipts, more than $2.7 million in expenditures and the deposit of the CD, last month ended with more than $2 million.
Bennett relayed to the board that system Financial Director Pam McWilliams said she doesn’t anticipate having to cash in any more CDs. The school system currently has one $4 million CD with Bank of Madison that doesn’t mature until March 2013.
One-quarter of the way through the fiscal year, the school system has received only 0.97 percent of budgeted local tax revenues–more than $114,000 out of a budgeted $11.8 million. Hypothetically, collections should be at 25 percent at this point, Bennett said, but the financial report only includes collections for September. FY2013 started in July for the school system, so those numbers are still coming in, and BOE Chairman Nelson Hale acknowledged that collections typically increase in November and December.
As far as FY13 expenditures to date, student transportation funds are more than anticipated. One-quarter of the way through the fiscal year, student transportation's at 39 percent–more than $581,000–of its budgeted amount of near $1.5 million. According to system Director of Operations Bob Monk, this is due to increased fuel costs, the fact that the bus fleet insurance adjustor left out buses from the count upon initial quote and one-time workers' comp and bus purchase payments.
Education Local Option Sales Tax (ELOST) receipts were down for the month of September as well.
The BOE collected more than $298,000 in ELOST funds last month. According to Monk, the system has averaged about $307,000 per month for the life of ELOST IV.
The ELOST fund began the month with near $3.7 million and, after the more than $298,000 in receipts and more than $340,000 in expenditures, ended the month with more than $3.6 million in the bank.
The majority of those expeditures–more than $276,000–was spent with Kevin Price Contractors, the construction company responsible for building the new Freshman Academy classroom building at the high school. Construction on this structure is still ahead of schedule, Monk said, and is on track to be completed in the spring of 2013.
More than $20,000 in ELOST funds was used to cover bus purchases this month. According to Monk, school bus bond money from the state didn't cover the entire expense of new buses this year–and the prospect of state money for buses next year isn't exactly looking promising, Monk said.
In past years, the school system has received between $200,000 and $300,000 for new school buses. The school system looks to receive a mere $12,000 from the state for new buses next year, Monk said.
"We will have some decisions to make (as to whether) to keep our bus fleet modern," Monk said.
The state decides how much it will allot individual school systems for buses based on the age of buses in systems' fleets. The older the fleet, the more money the state gives for buses.
Monk said Morgan County's fleet of school buses was among the top 3 to 5 percent most modern in Georgia.
In other financial news, the school nutrition fund began September with near $222,000 and, after more than $29,000 in receipts and more than $134,000 in expenditures, ended last month with $117,000 in the bank.
Printed in the October 11, 2012