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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the community of Ogdensburg, New York

Ogdensburg school district faced with steady decline of its fund balance


The Ogdensburg City School District is facing tough choices in the near future as the results of an audit of the 2012-2013 fiscal year reveal a steady decline in the district’s fund balance.

The district spent $32.44 million over the course of the last fiscal year and only took in $31.7 million according to an audit performed by the Pinto, Mucenski, Hooper, VanHouse, and Co. accounting firm.

“You have to keep in mind that we are approaching a deficit fund balance,” Ogdensburg Board of Education Vice President Michael J. Tooley at Monday’s board meeting.

The district’s fund balance currently stands at $3.48 million, down from $4.3 million at the beginning of the 2012-2013 fiscal year after the district was forced to apply $768,646 in order to fill the gap between revenues and expenses.

“It’s a trend that can’t sustain itself,” Mr. Tooley said.

Superintendent Timothy M. Vernsey said, “I think that it’s a good thing to let people know that our fund balance is going down.”

“People don’t want us to cut [programs], but we’re spending seven, eight hundred thousand dollars [per year] now,” Mr. Vernsey said, noting the steady decline of the school’s fund balance.

District Business Manager Jeffrey R. Swanson said the district is already seeing unexpected costs this year resulting from students with disabilities coming into the school and increased transportation costs.

“It’s going to be a very difficult year,” he said.

Mr. Tooley said it’s time to begin bracing for next year’s budget.

“I’d like to ask the administration to try as quickly as possible to get us a feel for where we might stand, even at this early date, with regards to projected expense versus budget,” he said, referring to the 2013-2014 budget.

Remarking on the $768,646 the district had to take out of its fund balance in last year’s budget Mr. Tooley said, “I don’t think we can wait until the next budget year to address that kind of budget impact.”

The current 2013-2014 budget includes a $36.8 million spending plan and $2.2 million in appropriated fund balance.

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