Lake Dallas school district adds to fund reserves

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LAKE DALLAS — The Lake Dallas school district added nearly $600,000 to its general fund reserves in the 2011-12 school year, according to a fiscal audit presented to the school board this week.

On Monday, an independent auditor and the district’s chief financial officer presented the board with the district’s 2011-12 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

According to the report, reserves increased from nearly $8.2 million at the start of the fiscal year, Sept. 1, 2011, to nearly $8.8 million at the year’s end, Aug. 31, 2012. Wes Eversole, the district’s deputy superintendent and chief financial officer, attributed the increase to a reduction in district expenditures.

He added that it was a “clean audit” and the district is happy with its outcome.

Denton accounting firm Hankins, Eastup, Deaton, Tonn & Seay said the district’s finances are sound, Jerry Eastup told board members Monday.

“This is a very good report,” Eastup said. “I think the district is doing very well in tough economic times.”

Auditors identified no areas of noncompliance but noted that the district exceeded appropriations in its debt service fund by $37,385, due to a bond refinance. The expenses related to the underwriting for the bond refinance last fiscal year exceeded the budgeted amount, Eversole said. The costs were overlooked when the budget was amended in August 2012, according to the report.

The finding did not affect the outcome of that particular fund, Eversole said.

Auditors recommended the district “review expenditures and amend the budget as needed to make sure expenditures don’t exceed appropriations,” according to the fiscal report.

Reserves in the district’s debt service fund decreased more than $516,000 in the 2011-12 fiscal year as a result of “stagnant property value growth,” Eversole said. The district started the year with $913,359 in reserves for the fund and completed the year with a savings of $397,129.

According to the audit, reserves for the child nutrition fund increased from $336,184 to $423,024 in 2011-12.

“Our increase in the food service fund is attributed to our food service director and her staff, limiting wastage and spoilage and watching expenses very closely,” Eversole said. “In addition, through attrition, we did not replace several food service positions. These funds will be used for the replacement of cafeteria equipment as it becomes obsolete. It will also be used as a buffer in the event the federal government reduces their funding to our child nutrition program.”

Superintendent Gayle Stinson said she was pleased with the finance report.

“This is 21 years with CAFR, 21 straight years of an exemplary audit and recognition certainly goes toward our CFO, Mr. Wes Eversole,” she said. “We are proud of our board and staff’s fiscal management of the district and certainly it shows through the data and history of our audits.”

The district’s current budget for its general fund is projected to total more than $30.35 million, according to the comprehensive annual finance report. The Lake Dallas general fund budget is projected to have a deficit of more than $372,000. Eversole said the district looks to use reserves to absorb the shortfall.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is btabor@dentonrc.com


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