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Solid financial picture viewed by school board

7/23/09 (Thu)

Solid financial picture viewed by school board

By JILL DENNING GACKLE
The cash register had a resounding ring at a meeting of the Garrison School Board Tuesday evening. The district ended the fiscal year with $668,516 in the bank, down $52,484 from last year.
The school, with a $3.3 million annual budget, started the year with $721,000, a record for the district.
The balance, or what is called the carryover, has increased substantially over the past several years. In 2005, the carryover was $390,000. In 2006, the carryover climbed to $585,087.
Carryover has been a topic over the years. In 2002, with an entirely different board, it was decided that a 10 percent carryover or 10 percent of the budget was adequate.
The current board briefly discussed what an adequate cushion is for the district. Less than 10 years ago, it was discussed frequently by board members whether there was enough cash to see the district through the winter months when revenue decreases.
In 2008, the carryover was 22 percent. This year’s carryover was 19.8 percent of the budget.
When the balance was reviewed at Tuesday evening meetings, board member Steve Seidler asked if the balance was high or low. Daryl Engel, board member, said it was positive considering how much work the district has done in the area of improving buildings and replacing buses.
Engel said the state doesn’t like the balance to be higher than 10 percent, although Superintendent Steve Brannan said he thought it was closer to 20 percent. Brannan said the state scrutinizes balances of more than 40 percent of the budget.