The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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Local Schools

March 19, 2014

Central board hears audit report

DEWITT — The Central Community School Board last week approved the 2012-2013 audit prepared by Nolte, Cornman & Johnson P.C. of Newton. Business Director Tina Bartels said it was a very good audit.

The general fund revenues decreased to $14,873,888 in fiscal year 2013 while expenditures increased to $14,519,182. With revenues still ahead of expenses, the general fund balance increased from $700,476 in 2012 to $1,055,182. The audit stated the revenue increase came from local sources and the slight increase in expenses was primarily the result of higher salaries and benefits. The solvency ratio, which is an indication of the district’s capacity to pay its bills, increased from 3.69 percent to 6.72 percent.

The board set April 9 at 6 p.m. for public hearings to amend the current budget and to approve the 2014-2015 budget. The amended budget shows actual expenses for 2013-14, and increases will be paid from increased receipts and balances not previously considered in the budget.

Superintendent Dan Peterson said the 2014-2015 budget has no cuts, and there is a slightly reduced tax rate of $15.07232 (previously 15.376) per $1,000 property taxable valuation. It lists $25,082,215 in required expenditures.

The board discussed at length the request for a Club Hope trip to Ecuador in 2015. Language arts teacher Hannah Totten has mentored the group with the help of Maquoketa School District teacher, Mindy Orris. Totten said that six students are dedicated to going as part of a youth-action group. The program works with the organization, Free the Children. The trip would provide a “global outlook” for the students, Totten said, and Orris added, “Safety is the No. 1 priority of this organization.”

The board asked for more documentation for the trip. Board member Jim Irwin said he was not ready to make the decision and asked for more research. Board member Steve Fulgsang said a discussion with the Maquoketa administration would be needed. Board member Angela Rheingans also said more information was needed because the group was going to a foreign country and it was the board’s responsibility to make an informed decision.

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