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RSU 40 audit shows positive balance

By Christine Simmonds | Jan 08, 2021
Photo by: Christine Simmonds RSU 40 School Board meets through Google Meet Jan. 7.

Union — The RSU 40 school budget audit for the 2020 fiscal year revealed the budget has positive fund balances. This was because of both COVID-19 and fiscal management.

Certified Public Accountant Parker Madden of Runyon Kersteen Ouellette reviewed the audit results at the School Board meeting Dec. 7.

Madden said he prepared the results from the district accounting software.

The district total revenues came in $175,568, lower than was expected. MaineCare income was $82,964 less than was budgeted, and tuition income was $112,661 lower.

District expenditures were well under budget, though, Madden said. While the budget called for $29,202,948 in spending, the district actually spent $27,888,761. This meant the district was $1,314,187 under budget in spending.

While Madden said such a large difference in expenditures would normally be alarming, there were mitigating factors. The largest of these was because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

School closures reduced bus trips, which meant fuel savings, for example. Transportation services were under budget by $174,858.

Reduced staff costs was another source of expenses that was below what the district budgeted. Madden explained this was due to both open positions in the district not filled, as well as employees selecting lower cost benefits than expected.

Only facilities management exceeded its original funding. Madden said this was to be expected, as building maintenance and cleaning continued during the school closure.

The district’s unassigned balance for the 2020 fiscal year is $1,147,843. This is extra income that can absorb unexpected costs or be put toward a future project. Madden said the district’s unassigned balance grew quite a bit from 2017 to 2020.

The two largest balances of other funds were the school lunch program and the adult education program. Madden said the people running these programs stuck to strong fiscal management to achieve this.

The school lunch program had a positive balance of $209,747. Madden explained this will allow the school lunch program to continue to pay for itself, if some losses occur without relying on other budgeted money. “That’s what you really want from a school lunch program,” Madden said.

In other business, student representative Sean Sebrey spoke about the Dec. 16 death of classmate Zachary Winpenny.

Sebrey read a prepared statement, where he spoke about Winpenny’s sudden and tragic death. “In the days following, I found myself fluctuation between disbelief and remorse,” he said.

The community response provided him with some consolation, however. More than $26,000 was raised for the family, and Sebrey said he was proud that students and staff of Medomak Valley High School showed unity and support.

Memorials are planned for Winpenny, and Sebrey said a group of students came together to help the family with Christmas shopping.

The board approved a donation of more than $1,000 from the Waldoboro Lion’s Club to The Miller School in Waldoboro.

Board member Melvin Williams said Prescott Memorial School’s Nancy Stover was nominated for Principal of the Year. Assistant Superintendent Christina Wotton confirmed Stover was nominated by four people for the award.

Stover said she was humbled and honored by the nomination. “I don’t expect it to go much further,” she added.

The next RSU 40 School Board meeting is scheduled for Jan 21 at 7 p.m.

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