As the year comes to an end the Denison Independent School District board of trustees passed a $3.3 million dollar budget amendments to pay for some facility projects in various stages.
The amendment will contribute to the districts $493,000 fund balance deficit bringing the total to $$3,799,356.
Denison ISD Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Randy Reid said the district is taking the difference from the revenues out of the fund balance to pay for the amendments. He likened it to taking money out of a savings account to cover the expenses that exceed revenues.
“We had a deficit several years ago when we used the fund balance for the stadium,” Reid said. “A lot of people think we used bond money to do that. It was all out of the general fund. That is the same thing we are doing here. We waited until we found out we had some additional funds. It is going to show a negative at the end of the year. We are going to reduce our fund balance by that amount.”
Reid reiterated the money from the recently passed bond will go entirely towards those projects, and the district currently has $19.8 million in fund balance. The amendment will bring that down to the $16 million range. That leaves the district with nearly four months worth of fund balance.
TEA recommends there be between three to four months available to districts.
Reid said it will leave the district with sufficient funds to operate, and he mentioned the district will get some of it back in rebates down the road.
Reid presented the funding amendments to the school board at its. Dec. 17 meeting. At the meeting trustee Randy Sedlacek raised the question of the negative fund balance showing up in the accounting report. Reid explained how it was necessary to report it that way to comply with state law. He said that the individual functions cannot show a deficit but the fund balance overall can.
Reid explained how the district has to report its funding in categories known as functions. The budget amendments included $180,000 for function 51, the districts facility maintenance fund, and $350,000 to function 53 the districts data processing fund to finish a couple of projects that began during the summer and had not been completed yet.
The $180,000 was to finish repairs to the lighting system at Scott Middle School that was damage by a lightning strike last summer. He said that ran over budget and he was asking for additional funds to complete the project. The other one was related to upgrading data cables.
“As you know a budget is our best guess,” Reid said at the meeting. “When we start the budget process we work through and try to estimate where we will be. During the year things will come up we want to change.”
He said some issues that weren't accounted for in the project included the need to remove asbestos as well as some wiring issues that needed to be addressed.
The school board also approved the contract to do the construction at the middle school for the air conditioning units at the same meeting as a separate agenda item.