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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • District continues ‘controlled, planned’ spending of reserves

  • Taking a $3.7 million dip out of reserves to buttress the $39.6 million expected in revenues, the Rolla Board of Education Thursday night approved spending $43.3 million in fiscal year 2014-2015.
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  • Taking a $3.7 million dip out of reserves to buttress the $39.6 million expected in revenues, the Rolla Board of Education Thursday night approved spending $43.3 million in fiscal year 2014-2015.
    District Finance Director Vicki Gorman, in her presentation of the budget, noted the spending of reserves has been going on for multiple years “in a controlled, planned way” to carry the district through a period of uncertainty for state financial support of education.
    “You can’t do that forever,” she said, but “there is a plan in the future to address that.”
    Meanwhile, the estimated assessed valuation for fiscal year 2015 is $389,938,807 in the district. Based on that amount, the same as last year, Gorman budgeted the operating levy at $2.9696 per $100 assessed valuation, the same tax rate as the current fiscal year.
    The budgeted debt service levy is 25 cents.
    Using the reserves to make up the deficit will leave an ending fund balance of $18,127,748, which is 28.7 percent of unrestricted funds.
    “The board policy is that figure should not go below 17 percent,” Gorman told the Daily News Friday. “The state of Missouri does not consider a district ‘financially strapped’ until that figure is 3 percent. I would never be comfortable with that.”
    That percentage is arrived at by dividing the ending fund balance by the amount of unrestricted expenditures, so the debt service fund and other restricted money is not counted.
    Gorman presented a summary of the operating funds that estimates the current fiscal year will bring in $39,440,186 in revenues with expenditures of $40,737,488. That will require use of $1,297,302 of the fund balance, ending the current fiscal year with a balance of $21,837,218, which is 34.5 percent of unrestricted funds.
    She had budgeted ending the year with reserves of 29 percent, so she anticipates the budgeted 28.7 percent for fiscal year 2015 also will end higher.
    “I try to be very conservative,” Gorman said, so the actual ending reserves have been higher than budgeted during this period of spending down.
    Gorman’s summary included the fiscal year 2012 figures: $39,072,192 in actual revenues, $45,692,259 in expenditures, a deficit of $6,620,067, leaving the fund balance at $23,199,036, or 39.15 percent.
    In fiscal year 2013, the revenues were $39,497,352 and the expenditures were $39,561,868, a deficit of $64,516, leaving the balance of $23,134,520, 36.8 percent.
    The figures for the 2015 budget are as follows: $39,559,851 in revenues, $43,269,321 in expenditures, a deficit of $3,709,470, leaving $18,127,748 as balance, 28.7 percent.
    The debt service fund remains stable. Budgeted revenues for fiscal year 2015 are estimated at $1,268,063 and the expenditures will be $1,149,949. The ending fund balance will be $1,354,262.
    In other business or discussion:
    n The board watched the Missouri School Boards’ Association board report from msba.net, the association’s website. Topics covered included state taxes, FFA chapters, the MSBA conference in September and safe schools.
    Page 2 of 2 - n The board approved the consent agenda.
    n Jane Haskell was re-appointed as the board’s representative on the Enhanced Enterprise Zone Committee.

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