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Mohonasen rated favorably in audit

Monday, November 5, 2012
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— Mohonasen school officials have received a clean 2011-2012 audit, which said that the district has built up its surpluses and budgeted conservatively.

“Financially, your district remains in good shape,” said Alec Sobin of Raymond G. Preusser CPA.

Sobin said the district had very low reserves about five or six years ago but steadily built it up since then.

The district has nearly $6.5 million reserve accounts set up for specific purposes such as tax challenges, employee retirement, unemployment insurance and debt service.

It had a roughly $1.76 million undesignated fund balance — leftover money from previous budget years that can be used for any purpose — as of June 30. This complies with the state law saying that districts can keep no more than 4 percent of their budget in reserve.

“Mohonasen continues to maintain its financial stability by carefully monitoring and controlling general fund expenditures and monitoring the receipt of revenues,” the audit said.

The district has implemented cost-saving measures such as evaluating the need to fill any open position, switching from an HMO to a less-costly exclusive provider organization, participating in a program to import prescription drugs from Canada, redesigning bus routes and entering into cooperative purchasing agreements with other local schools and Capital Region BOCES, according to the audit.

However, there are challenges ahead. Benefit costs continue to rise and the district now has to live within the constraints of the state-imposed property tax cap, according to Sobin.

The audit said another issue is the potential for more housing development, which could boost enrollment in the district.

The auditors had recommended that the district complete a physical inventory of all its assets, which it has since done.

 
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