Board looks at financial future

MANISTIQUE – The Manistique School Board spent time reviewing where it has been in the last year and where it is headed financially during a special meeting held Monday night.

During the meeting the board amended the 2013-14 fiscal year budget to reflect the final numbers as closely as possible and approved the budget for the coming year.

At the beginning of the 2013-14 fiscal year the district had an audited balance of $1,112,221. During the fiscal year, which ended Wednesday night, the district projected that it would spend $744,428 more than is taken in by revenue.

However, with money that was budgeted, but not spent, the district expects to maintain an additional $275,000. Once all is said and done, the district expects to have a projected year-end fund balance of $642,793.

“There will be things that will be coming in over the next month that will affect that figure, but hopefully not too dramatically,” said Manistique Area Schools Business Manager Donna Winkle.

The district expects to spend more than is generated by revenue again during the 2014-15 fiscal year. This year the amount spent over expenditures is expected to be significantly lower at $489,756, which reflects cuts made to maintain the district’s recommended minimum fund balance of $300,000.

Cuts and budget saving measures taken by the district in the coming year include a reduction in the special education supervisor position, eliminating summer hours for a new high school secretary that will be hired following a retirement, eliminating a two-hour food service position, a reduction in technology support, elimination of the majority of equipment purchases, modifying the Little Explorers program, eliminating Newpoint Consulting service, and a cost savings anticipated with the replacement of a middle school special education teacher.

“I have to say I appreciate the hours that you’ve spent looking for the budget adjustments, the cuts that we have to make. I know it wasn’t easy to do,” board vice-president Giannine Perigo told the group that had worked to find savings for the district.

With the cuts and $200,000 expected to be budgeted but not spent, the district projects a 2014-15 fiscal year-end balance of $353,037. If every dollar budgeted in line items was spent at the end of the year the fund balance would be $153,037.

The board also certified the 2014-15 tax levies that are used to support the district. No changes were made to the tax rates. Under the resolution the district will collect 18 mills on non-homestead property – 17.1243 mills made whole by an additional .8757 mills allowed by the Headlee Override Provision – 2.5 mills for debt retirement levied on all property in the district, and 1.5 mills to support the district’s sinking fund levied on all property in the district.

Documentation of the district’s finances including a full projected budget will be made available on the district’s website within 30 days. To find the documents residents can visit and click on the “Transparency Reporting” icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Alternatively, documents can be picked up from the middle and high school office.