Dr. Richard Timbs, executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium, will present an outline for a proposed five-year fiscal plan for the Fort Plain Central School District at its regular board of education meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The outline incorporates the components of a corrective plan that has been submitted to the Office of the State Comptroller, according to a news release. In the fall, state auditors found the district has been holding more money in fund balance than is allowed by law.
District leaders took multiple steps to make adjustments in reserve funds to accurately reflect the district’s liabilities and its long-range educational and fiscal plans, according to the release. At a special meeting on Dec. 19, 2012, the board approved the corrective plan, and Superintendent Douglas Burton documented the steps in a letter to the comptroller’s office.
“The entire fiscal plan will also bring the district’s unrestricted fund balance below four percent of the general fund budget and into compliance,” said Burton in a news release.
“District management and the board of education will continue to tighten estimates for expenditures and appropriated fund balance for proposed annual budgets to try to hold district property tax levy as appropriate for our educational obligations to students and fiscal obligations to residents,” Burton added.
The board also approved a voter referendum for Tuesday, Feb. 12, with three propositions on the ballot, including creating a bus and transportation purchase reserve fund and transferring $409,631 from the capital reserve fund to the newly-created fund.
The letter also included the following steps taken by district leaders:
• Reallocation of $575,927 from the retirement contribution reserve to the employee benefit accrued liability reserve. In addition, the board of education approved the reallocation of $67,956 into the retirement contribution reserve from the unassigned and unexpended fund balance bringing the total to $102,029, effective June 30, 2012.
• The district has planned to utilize the funds in the EBALR to cover the cost of making cash payments to employees for accrued or accumulated leave time owed to those employees leaving employment with the district. In addition, the EBALR will be adjusted at the end of every fiscal year to maintain a level commensurate with that of the amount of “compensated absences” reflected in the statement of non-current governmental liabilities at that time.
• By June 30, the board of education will reallocate $387,000 from the unemployment reserve which will reflect an adjustment in that reserve to an amount necessary to cover the cost of maximum benefits for two individuals, which will leave $43,000 in this reserve. These funds would be used to defray the cost of increases in that assessment in future years that exceeded the annual budgetary appropriation. In addition, the unemployment reserve will be adjusted at the end of the fiscal year to maintain a level commensurate with current maximum benefits for two individuals.
Page 2 of 2 - • By June 30, the board of education will establish a new reserve for workers’ compensation in the amount of $37,500, which will be transferred from the unassigned and unexpended fund balance.
• By June 30, the board of education will approve the reallocation of $278,953 from the unassigned and unexpended fund balance into the employee contribution reserve, for a total of $380,982, which will cover the cost of the projected 2013 - 2014 payments.