2017-11-02 / Local News

Glen Lake shines in audit; district has $8.7 million above expenses

By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff

General fund revenue topped $12.4 million last year at Glen Lake Community Schools.

Still, the district had to tap its fund balance by $317,000 to cover its costs for 2016-17.

Those figures came from the district’s audit report, which was provided at a special meeting of the district Board of Education Oct. 23.

Aaron Mansfield from the Traverse City accounting firm of Dennis, Gartland and Niergarth appeared before the board to provide results of the audit performed in September.

“It was postponed a couple times and some of the questions asked by the auditor took longer to answer because of the turnover in staff,” superintendent Sander Scott said.

The district’s previous business manager Carol Balhorn resigned at the end of the 2016-17 school year. Her replacement is former Suttons Bay business manager LeAnn Eustice, who did not come on board until the end of August.

State law requires districts to report the findings of the audit for the previous school year by Nov. 1.

The “unmodified” opinion issued by the firm is the highest level of assurance that financial statements are presented, in all material respects, in accordance with applicable financial reporting framework.

Total revenue for the district last year equaled $12,405,800, up about $220,000 from the previous year.

Property taxes of $7.3 million comprised the bulk of the district’s revenue last year.

Glen Lake’s bottom line was also bolstered by $3,404,487 in federal grants that include Impact Aid for school districts whose property tax revenue was affected by the creation of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Federal moneys, which include Title 1 funding, were up about $30,000 from 2015-16.

Expenses and transfers of $12,723,369 were recorded last year, down by just over $900,000 to 2015- 16.

Glen Lake’s fund balance at the end of last year was easily the highest in the county at $14,787,135.

Of this, $6,074,965 is “committed” to subsequent year expenses, representing two years in Impact Aid receipts.

The “assigned” amount in the fund balance, $8.7 million, reflects the district’s annual operating budget for 2016-17, Scott said.

“We’re working toward a goal of designated Impact Aid for capital improvements so we never have to go to the taxpayers asking for a bond issue to purchase a bus or technology,” he said.

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