Several projects could be accomplished in FY14

Rolla Public Schools will likely end fiscal year 2013 on June 30 with total fund balances of almost $21 million, more than $8.5 million of that in the capital projects fund.

In a report prepared for the Rolla Board of Education and designed, too, for dissemination to the district’s patrons, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Kelly Hinshaw and Finance Director Vicki Gorman gave a financial review of the capital project fund and a look ahead at what that fund will likely be used for in fiscal year 2014, beginning July 1 of this year.

“Have we prepared? And can we continued to do what we have planned?” are the questions the administration, the board and the patrons need to consider, Hinshaw said.

He opened his presentation by explaining the school district has four funds:

n Fund 1, known as the incidental or operating fund for expenditures for support staff salaries and benefits, utilities, food purchases, supplies, textbooks, property and liability insurance.

n Fund 2, known as the special fund or teachers fund, for expenditures for certificated salaries and benefits and tuition paid to other districts.

n Fund 3: known as the debt service fund, for expenditures for interest and principal on bond issues.

n Fund 4: known as the capital projects fund, for expenditures for capital items over $1,000, equipment, facility construction and major repairs.

Hinshaw said the Facilities Committee compiled a long-range planning report in 2007.

“This is an actual notebook,” he said, and it is a prioritized list of facility needs. “There are many things still in there to do. It is still a live, working document,” he added.

That long-range planning document made these recommendations:

n “Existing Rolla Public School facilities are quality facilities that should be maintained, upgraded and updated through comprehensive planning.”

n “Early Childhood Education program needs warrant the consideration of an Early Childhood Facility as a component of the long-range facility plan.”

n “Co-curricular program needs warrant the consideration of a Performing Arts Facility as a component of the long-range facility plan.”

n “Co-curricular program needs warrant the consideration of upgrading athletic facilities. Upgrades include: parking expansion, field improvements, storage facility expansion and bleacher and concession/restroom facility improvements.”

n “The Rolla Public Schools should consider acquiring land for future growth with site planning and programming to be determined through comprehensive planning and community input. Existing facilities are currently at or near capacity.”

Hinshaw said of these recommendations: “Every one of these has been a topic for us this year.”

Finance Director Gorman said the ending balances for Fiscal Year 2012 on June 30, 2012, were as follows:

Funds 1 and 2: $13,963,690

Fund 4: $9,235,346

Total: $23,199,036.

That’s an unrestricted operating fund balance percentage of 39.15 percent.

Gorman said transfers of funds from Funds 1 and 2 to Fund 4 are allowed in certain circumstances. In addition, the merchants and manufacturers tax collection may be deposited directly into that fund.

The district had budgeted Fiscal 2013 year-ending balances of $12,072,000 for Funds 1 and 2 and $7,609,104 for Fund 4, giving a total of $19,681,104, a 31.56 percent unrestricted operating fund balance percentage.

Gorman told the board she studied the figures through the end of January. If expenses continue being lower than expected, the balances for the end of this fiscal year will be as follows:

Funds 1 and 2: $13,172,000

Fund 4: $8,609,104

Total: $21,781,104

That’s an unrestricted operating fund balance percentage of 35.45 percent.

Hinshaw said that $8.6 million fund balance might be used on these projects:

Truman Elementary entrance/office reconfiguration: $130,500 (budget estimate)

High School cafeteria expansion and update: $1,000,047 (budget estimate, bids due March 12)

District commitment to technology: $735,000 (budget estimate)

Transportation (one special needs bus, one route bus): $180,000 (budget estimate)

Buildings and grounds/facility improvements: $520,000

High School stadium improvement project: $827,043 (base bid of $629,555 plus alternates)

Total: $3,392,590

That would leave $5,216,514, well above the $4 million “floor” for the fund.

Hinshaw noted the commitment to technology figure reflects the district’s adopted technology plan. He said the bus purchases are the way to keep the 64-bus fleet up to date.

“We’re in good shape, but we don’t want to get behind,” he said of the buses.

The building and grounds figure is a typical annual expense and it includes a boiler replacement, roofing and other items such as replacing doors.

The bid for the stadium project has been received and it is within the expected range, Hinshaw said. No action was taken. He added that the Turf by ’12 committee continues to work on collecting donations and pledges; some $309,000 has been either received or promised.

This was a discussion item only; no action was taken. The information is also posted on the district website.