Morenci school audit presented 2011.11.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

When Morenci auditor Philip Rubley makes his annual appearance at the Morenci Board of Education meeting, he generally has some positive words to say despite dwindling financial resources.

This year was different. 

Rubley told the board that if something doesn’t change, the district is going to be out of cash within three years.

Rubley said the district has fallen short more than $400,000 during the past three school years, including a shortfall of $215,000 in the year of his report.

“The news tonight is that you’ve used up about 25 percent of your equity in one year,” he said. “So at this current rate, unless you can curb that, you’ve got two and a half years or so at this pace and you’ll be out of money in the general fund.”

Projecting finances into the future, the district doesn’t have a lot of room to operate without one of two things: an influx of revenue or additional cuts in costs.

Rubley said the food service fund continues to remain strong, unlike most school districts. It’s generally a problem area, he said, but Morenci has done remarkably well in recent years.

It needs to stay that way, he pointed out, of else the general fund would have to cover any shortfall.

He also praised Erica Metcalf’s auditing practices and noted she was within $2,500 of finishing the year where her budget predicted it would be.

“You have a very good accounting system,” Rubley said. “One of the best that we review.”

  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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