Taylor County Schools ends year with healthy general fund

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Begins fiscal year with $4.1 million in general fund.

By Leslie Moore

Taylor County Schools ended the year with about $500,000 more in its general fund than the previous year and stayed well within its budget, according to Finance Director Marcie Close.

Close presented Board members with a year-end financial report at their regular meeting last week. The District started fiscal year 2014 with a beginning balance of $3.5 million. Because the fiscal year ended on June 30, Close said the report allows for expenses and revenue expected to come in through August from utility, motor vehicle and delinquent property taxes and other sources.

"Around $134,800 is what we expect for more additional revenues to come in," Close said.

She said she is also expecting about $80,000 in accounts payables for utilities, travel reimbursements and miscellaneous expenses.  

Taking these figures into account, Close said the district's ending balance is roughly $4.1 million.

She used a chart to compare how the district's ending balance has improved in the last few years. The district ended fiscal year 2009 with $884,000 in its general fund. In fiscal year 2010, the balance jumped to $2.4 million. The balance rose another $1.2 million in fiscal year 2011, and reached $3.9 million in fiscal year 2012. During fiscal year 2013, the fund dipped to $3.5 million.

"I think you can see that we are good stewards of the taxpayer money, surely you can see that," Superintendent Roger Cook said. "If you can't, I don't know what else to do. We run a great academic institution, we're always top in our region."

Altogether, the district's expenditures for the year were $24.6 million and revenue totaled $28.7 million. The district also paid off $833,000 in debt.

Although the Kentucky Department of Education requires districts to keep a 2-percent funding contingency to cover possible unforeseen expenses, Cook said the district ends the year with a 13-percent contingency.

"It looks like overall we brought in 103 percent of our budgeted revenues and we spent 88 percent of our expenditures, to sum it up," Close said.

Also at the Meeting:

• Board members amended the salary schedule because of the promotion of Assistant Director of Exceptional Children Scott Parks to director and the creation of an instructional coordinator position. Cook said the coordinator will help Assistant Superintendent Susan Kilby with instructional supervision duties and will be hired from within the district.

• Board members approved the creation of a marketing director position. Cook said the ideal candidate will have a marketing degree or can pursue a teaching degree while employed by the district if they don't have one.

• Close briefed the Board on Green River Regional Educational Cooperative's ongoing negotiations for a final settlement with the defunct Kentucky School Board Insurance Trust. The trust provided many districts with workers' compensation insurance as well as property and liability coverage. Districts are now faced with having to make up the trust's multi-million dollar deficit.

Close said while the settlement isn't final, the last estimate for the district was about $185,000 to be paid within five years.

• Board members gave approval to purchase mowing equipment to maintain the district's 120-acre property on KY 210. According to Board member David Hall, the district has the choice of two models of utility tractors, a John Deere 5100E and 5100M. The first would cost an estimated $46,000 and the second about $51,000. The mowing deck would cost about $12,000.

• Taylor County High School athletic department's $35,000 funding request for the upcoming school year was approved. Students will be given free admission to the district's athletic games.

• At the recommendation of Food Services Director Kathy Phelps, the Board agreed to enter into an agreement with purchasing co-op HPS, available through GRREC. Phelps said GRREC has more purchasing power because it represents several districts across the region. She said the agreement is expected to save the district thousands of dollars.

• The Board approved construction documents for the Taylor County Primary Center drafted by Sherman, Carter, Barnhart PSC to be sent to KDE for approval.

• This month's personnel report includes:

- Retirements - Charles Wright, bus driver.

- Resignations - Troy Benningfield, instructional supervisor; Charles Higdon, TCHS principal; Whitney Hooper, TCHS math teacher/girls' basketball coach; Traci Sharpe, director of exceptional children; and Donnie Munford, assistant coach for track and field and cross country.

- New hires - Kendra Blaire and Matthew Humphress, Taylor County Middle School math teachers; Stephen Zink, TCMS athletic director; Angela Price, ECE paraeducator; Robbie VanCleave, bus driver; and Jared Vaughn, alternative room/lunch room monitor.

- Transfers - Charles Higdon, director of district wide programs; Scott Parks, director of exceptional children; and Natasha Wyrick, TCMS volleyball coach.