Morenci schools gets good audit report 10.17

Written by David Green.

The overall opinion from auditor Phil Rubley is that the Morenci school district is in pretty good shape.

“Your report card is good,” Rubley said, as he presented the annual audit at Monday night’s board of education meeting.

The original budget adopted by the board for the 2006-07 school year showed a deficit of $394,400. A cost savings of more than $300,000 came from cuts approved by the board, including administrative reductions, administrators  serving in dual roles, pay freezes, insurance concessions from administration and support staff, leaves of absence and budget line items being reduced or eliminated.

A huge factor in the cost savings, said Erica Metcalf, finance director, was that the district was fully funded from the amount promised by the state.

The actual budget deficit stood at $87,466 from Rubley’s audit, covering the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007.

“This is very, very good,” said Rubley. “You adhered to the budget very closely. You kept it in line. What you’ve done is bought time.”

The food service added $14,999 to its fund, increasing its balance to $123,374, which Rubley says is excellent for a food service operation.

The athletic fund shows a negative change of $4,558, bringing the fund balance to $15,917. Rubley explained that this kind of change is normal.

“But you’re still in pretty good shape,” he said.

Rubley gave the audit an “unqualified” opinion, which means the figures are presented fairly in all material respects and that they comply with general accounting practices and auditing standards.

“This is the highest opinion I can render,” he said. “Your accounting records are very good. You should be commended for that.”

Rubley cautioned the board about the district’s future finances.

“There are some things you’ll have to change down the road,” he said.

The projected deficit for the current year was budgeted at $150,000. If that shortfall were to continue, the $805,000 fund equity would disappear in a few years.

But if the cuts hadn’t been made, he noted that all savings would have disappeared in just a couple of years.

It’s odd to call a deficit budget a good report, Rubley said Tuesday, but that’s an indication of state of school financing in Michigan.

“I was pleased with the audit,” he said. “They’re holding their position really well.

 

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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