Bamberg School District One - Unqualified, Clean Opinion on audit

Bamberg School District One was able to add money to its general fund account at the end of the fiscal year, auditor Elizabeth Inabinet informed District One trustees at their October 20, meeting. District One’s general fund finished the year by adding $760,000 to its previous fund balance, bringing the district’s total fund balance as of June 30, 2011 to $2,951,000 which equals approximately 32 percent of the district’s expenditure in the general fund.

“That represents what is considered to be a very strong fund balance,” Inabinet said, adding “so you’re in good shape there.” The district’s net assets (which are the difference between assets and liabilities) totaled “a little over” $9.1 million. The district’s total expenses for instruction were about $7.8 million. It was noted in the report that the district’s Summer Feeding Program was doing “much better” the last two years ending the year with a profit of $44,199.

The audit did note several findings, including children charging meals at school. Inabinet noted that a previous recommendation was that children in the lower grades be allowed to charge up to $25 and students in the higher grades not be allowed to charge any meals. At one school charges amounted to $22,000 with collections amounting to approximately $16,000 the result was $5,500 more being charged than collected. It was noted that at another school 57 students had balances of more than $100. “That’s something that needs to be addressed and limited as much as possible,” Inabinet said.

Also during the meeting:

Dale Collier of Brownstone Construction Group and the owner’s representative gave trustees an update on the district’s construction and renovation projects. Collier noted that the front entrance and administration areas of the middle school are 80-90 percent complete and 80-85 percent of all the physical work at the middle school was done. The remaining work will revolve around the kitchen area being done next summer.

Collier reported that “a lot of major work” is underway at the high school with concentration on the front of the building. He noted that efforts would be made to finish the front part of the building coming out of Christmas break. The construction company is making an effort to control the affects of tar fumes on students and people in the community from the roofing by working evenings and after school.

Construction work at the new Richard Carroll Elementary School is “well underway” and beyond 50 percent complete. With site infrastructure, fire hydrants in place and dry wall nearly complete, Collier noted: “We feel very good about where we are. It’s going along very, very well with not a lot of do overs.” The district was able to secure $150,000 in C-Fund money to help with the highway construction at the new school, with the Binnicker Road access costing approximately $200,000 and the Highway 301 entrance costing between $30-$40,000.

In reference to the district receiving a $1.3 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Collier said the problem is the district would have had to wait until March to be approved, thus putting construction at the new elementary school on hold. The district and construction officials will look at the possibility of using the FEMA grant to retro-fit the gym at Bamberg-Ehrhardt Middle School.