District One gets good audit report

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By David Meade

During their November meeting Tuesday evening, the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees received an “unqualified opinion” on their audit, elected board officers and recognized the Wren State Championship ladies golf team and coach Bobby Tripp. They also recognized Wren Prinicpal Robbie Binnicker who has recently been named the state “Principal of the Year.”

Board member Fred Alexander was elected Board Chairman, a position he has held for many years; Nancy Upton was elected Vice-Chair; and Tom Merritt will serve as Secretary.

Upton and Merritt will also serve on the Career and Technology Center Board. Upton and Dr. Doug Atkins will serve on the Alternative School Board.

Kevin Thomas of the Auditing Firm Greene Finney and Horton told the Board that the District had received an “unqualified opinion” on their audit and that the opinion is the best they can get.

While presenting highlights of the audit, Thomas said that the District Fund Balance had increased by $1.7 million to $10.4 million as of June 30, 2011. The fund balance was at 17.9 percent of expenses, just over the 17 percent recommended by the GFOA, Thomas said.

Some of the fund balance is currently being used to cover expenses while property and other tax revenues are coming in. The healthy fund balance allows the district to avoid having to issue a tax anticipation note (TAN) to cover expenses, Thomas said.

Thomas said the fund balance will be available for the District to use if they need it when the stimulus funding runs out and for operating costs of the new Powdersville High School during 2012.

Thomas said a fraud policy recommended in previous audits had been implemented. The only recommendation made by the auditors was to formalize in writing a disaster recovery plan for the District.

Finance Director Steve Uldrick said that a proposed Duke Energy rate increase could cost the District an additional $200,000. Uldrick also said that additional state money is expected to be available which will help replenish some of the fund balance that may be used.

Dr. Fowler reported that ten District One schools had received an excellent rating on the state report card, placing the district 3rd out of 85 districts in the state.

Dr. Fowler said the financial adjustments the board agreed to in the budgeting process did not adversly affect the instructional program. He praised the decisions made by the board, the support of district employees and the community in working together during the tough financial times the District has faced over the last two to three years.

“They have been really supportive,” he said. “That is just part of who we are. The students are the ones benefitting. It is a good place to be a part of.”

Associate Superintendent David Havird reported that the nutritional program had made a $30,425 profit for October with revenues of $375,959 and expenses of $345,534.

The Board approved the following personnel recommendations:

Request for leave – Barbara Dansby, Powdersville Middle School, Guidance; Kristen Gunter, Palmetto Middle, Grade 7 Science; Andra Looper, Palmetto Middle, Grade 6; Megan Selman, Wren High, English; and MaryAnn Stephens, Palmetto Elementary, Grade 1.

Resignation – Kelli Lowe, Palmetto Elementary, Grade 5.

Christopher Lesley was named the new Director of Maintenance for the District.

The December meeting of the Anderson District One Board of Trustees will be held on January 12, 2012.