Anderson School District One Board hears audit report and results of impact fee study

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The Anderson School District One Board chose Board officers, heard the annual audit presentation and the results of an impact fee study during their meeting Tuesday.
Nancy Upton was elected Board Chair, Brenda Ellison was elected Vice-Chair, David Merritt was elected Secretary. Mike Wilson will continue service on the Alternative School Board. Wendy Burgess and Nancy Upton will continue on the Anderson School District 1 &2 Career and Technology Center Board.
Travis Thomas reported Anderson County received $2,760,000 from the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) for October. District One’s share, 31.5 percent, amounted to approximately $888,000. Of that 20 percent, or $177,000, will go to property tax relief and 80 percent, $710,000 will go to Capital projects.
For October the LOST fund balance was $5.8 million, with revenue of $710,000 and expenses of $290,000, leaving an ending fund balance of $6.2 million.
The building program had revenues of $140.5 million and expenses of $121.9 million, leaving an ending fund balance of $19.8 million.
For the instructional report, Dr. Jeff Wilson reported that Palmetto High School and Wren Middle School were the winners of the District One Middle and High School Food Fight, which collected 15,782 food items for local food banks.
The Board also recognized Powdersville Middle Principal Todd Binnicker for his school being chosen a National Blue Ribbon Middle School, the only one in the state.
Wilson also reported that a new single day record of 9,841 meals were served on Nov. 17. He said that revenues from the program have allowed hiring of new staff which includes three new student hires.
Wilson also explained the new 2022-23 school calender for Anderson County. He said it is very similar to last year and includes a late break in October and a break every month. Schools will also be closed on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022. Spring break will be after Easter he said. School start date will remain the third week in August, though he said “We would like to start a little earlier”. The State sets the earliest start date for classes, he said.
The Board unanimously approved the new county wide school calendar.
In his presentation, Ken Meadows of Greene Finney CPA told the Board that District One received an “unmodified” opinion, “the best you can get” on the annual audit report. “The audit went well and Travis Thomas and his staff did a great job,” Meadows said.
The audit showed the District One Fund Balance increased $.5 million to $22.4 million and the District has a nonspendable fund balance of $.2 million for inventory, leaving the unassigned Fund Balance at $22.2 million. That is 26 percent of the budgeted expenditures for 2022.
Meadows said the GFOA recommends a mininum of 16.7 percent, or about two months of expenditures be in reserve in the fund balance.
(See separate story)
The Board also heard a presentation on an Impact Fee Study conducted by Fiscal, Economic and Planning consulting firm TischlerBise.
TischlerBise President Carson Bise said the study looked at costs and projections of school construction, land, activity buses, administrative space and credits for future payment on debt.
The study made recommendations of an impact fee maximum of $11,208 for single family construction and $7,779 for multifamily construction.
The impact fee proposal for Anderson School District One must first be approved by Anderson County Council. If the county adopts it on behalf of District One, the fee will be collected from developers when obtaining a building permit for new residential construction in the school district.
AD1 Superintendent Robbie Binnicker said the numbers in the study are very conservative and the impact fee is not designed to have new residents shoulder the entire cost to build a new addition or school, but to have them pay “just their fair share.”
Following the presentation, the Board unanimously approved a resolution in support of presenting the impact fee proposal to County Council.
The board approved the following recommendations:
Lillian Budnick, Elementary Education; Gloria Hallancia, Special Education; Matthew Howard, Elementary Education/Special Education; Megan Mallin, Early Childhood Education; Caroline Phillips, Elementary Education; Catherine Raspa, Special Education and Gracie Williams, Early Childhood Education.