School District Year-End Surplus Up to $900,000

School District Business Administrator Peter Curro told the school board the year-end surplus would be between $850,000 and $900,000.

“We were a little leery on the second quarter only because we didn’t know what the adequacy numbers were going to be in March,” Curro said at the Tuesday, July 15 meeting

He said the year-end surplus will be used to cover the approved equipment trust article of $100,000 and $100,000 will be added to the district’s unassigned fund balance, with the remaining surplus used to offset the December 2014 tax rate.

“We’ll know better as we get closer to October what the tax base numbers are,” Curro said.

Curro said revenue, which includes property taxes, state and local revenue, was $410,000 above expectations in October when the tax rate was set.

“Medicaid was the significant driver of this positive, coming in at over $300,000 more than expected,” Curro said. He noted that adequacy levels were $21,000 lower. According to the state Department of Education, Adequate Education Aid is computed for each city, town and unincorporated place. Not all towns operate schools, but each town pays for the education of students who are residents of the town. Adequacy Aid is based on the average daily membership (ADM) of resident students.

“We didn’t know that number until April 5,” Curro said. “They have changed the law, and we will know what the number is when we set the tax rate and then when they adjust it, it will get caught up in the next go around.”

On the expenditure side, Curro said they expect to come in at about $450,000 to $500,000 under budget.

“The driving force all year has been the savings on staff turnover,” he explained. “The three or four lines that have positive variances are professional salaries, healthcare premiums, dental premiums and vocational tuition.”

The benefits line, however, was over budget.

“Benefits due to contractual or employee compensation at retirement were $299,274,” he said. “Construction services for the third quarter included safety needs, irrigation repairs, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment and boiler issues, and were $319,306, and new equipment to support curriculum initiatives was $224,744.”

And Food Service was $60,000 in the red.

“I wish I could say the same for Food Service as the general fund but I can’t,” Curro said. “The revenues for May and June were not there.”

Board member John Laferriere asked if the district had to cover the loss.

“We encumbered $65,000 so we’re all set,” Curro responded.

Curro added that the re-funding of the North School bond saved the district $15,000 for the remaining 10 years of the note. “The more recent Maintenance Bond was sold at a very favorable 2.19 percent, which was rock bottom,” he said. “We really hit the market well on both the re-fund and the Maintenance Bond.”

He said both new rate schedules will be incorporated into the FY16 budget.

In other business last week:

• The new Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Scott Laliberte, was introduced to the board. Laliberte comes to Londonderry from the Gilford School District.

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