42% of general fund for salaries; 12.5% fund equity


ALMONT — There was a bit of good news at the Almont school board meeting last week when auditors gave their presentation.

In a cover letter to a prepared power point presentation, the auditing firm said the district had received a “Clean, Unmodified” audit opinion which is the highest level of assurance possible for the district’s financial statements. it was also pointed out there were no “control issues” that caused any concern.

The district learned they are in the middle of where they should be when it comes to fund equity.

Auditors said they like to see between 10 to 20% and Almont’s audit shows a fund equity of 12.56%.

Their General Fund balance for the report was $2,230,800.

The Almont school board was on the stage and used microphones at their last meeting, in an effort to respond to requests from the public. The move is still a work in progress, they say.

In the report, school board members and administration saw that the General Fund had overall revenue of just over $17.763 million with expenditures of $17.767 million, leaving the account with a deficit of around $4,800.

The Food Service account had revenue of $632,145 and expenditures of $621,872, leaving that account with a net change of just over $10,000.

The account shows an ending fund balance of $315,719.

Student Activities showed the largest deficit in the report, with revenue of $336,756 and expenditures of $354,951, leaving that account with a deficit of $18,195.

This account has a reported ending fund balance of $228,958.

The Debt Retirement fund finished in the black, with revenue of $3,576,171 and expenditures of $3,527,183, a net change of $48,988.

The account has an ending fund balance of $386,436.

Capital Projects saw revenue of $394,541 and expenditures of $144,833, a net change of $249,708. The ending fund balance for the account was reported to be $605,503.

Overall, including all accounts, the audit report tallied $22,702,645 in revenue and $22,416,745 worth of expenditures, a net change of $285,900.

The overall ending fund balance, for all accounts, was $3,767,416.

42% of the general fund money is used for staff salaries while another 35% is for benefits for employees.

Also at the meeting, the board voted to move forward with a resolution for a Preliminary Bond Qualification, a document that needed to be sent to the State, if approved.

Board member Sue Fredericksen was the lone dissenting vote, saying she could not support voting for a resolution without seeing accurate numbers regarding information on the original document that was wrong.

She was told corrections had been made, although board members did not have a revised document prior to the vote.

The information, according to school officials, was actually a higher number than what was submitted originally and worked in favor of the district.

The October 23 board meeting was the first one held in the junior/senior high auditorium.

“It was a lot of work for our staff to make it happen,” said Interim Superintendent Kim VonHiltmayer. “But, we listened to the public and they wanted us to have microphones so they could hear better at our meetings. I want to thank those who worked hard to make it happen. We still have some bugs to work out, but we were up on stage and trying our best to make the requested changes.”

In the public comment portion of the meeting, board members heard a request to split a potential ballot with two issues, separating an often-discussed new building that could house numerous activities, both in athletics and other programs such as robotics, music and arts.