2010-10-28 / Front Page

Auditor reports- HLCS ‘solid’

By Cheryl Holladay cheryl.holladay@ houghtonlakeresorter.com

Houghton Lake Board of Education members received good news during the audit report for the year ending June 30, 2010.

C.P.A. Bruce Dunn of Maner Costerisan of Lansing, the district’s auditing firm, told the board it has, by and large, done an “excellent job” and that the general fund is solid.

“You’re in pretty good shape,” Dunn said.

The district’s assets exceed its liabilities, he said, and there are “some good things going on” in the district.

The fund balance has been increased by $336,000, he said, and as of June 30, the fund balance was $2 million, or about 14% of the general fund budget. He cautioned, though, that the district had received $400,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funds.

“The [federal] stimulus money is going to run out,” he said, and the district’s contribution to teachers’ retirements will be higher next year, 20.66%, effective Nov. 1 (mandated by the State of Michigan). “The stimulus will go away, but not the [district’s] needs.”

The fact that voters recently approved the district’s maximum 18-mil non-homestead tax as well as the bond issue indicates the community has confidence in the school board, he said.

He noted the school food service program saw a net increase of $50,000.

The audit process went smoothly, Dunn said. No material weaknesses were found and there were no non-compliance issues.

Reporting on housekeeping tasks, Dunn said the district needs to prepare a disaster recovery plan and complete an accounting manual. He noted while there was no indication of wrongdoing, the district has subjected itself to new risk by initiating debit cards (which are use by specific employees for specific purchases).

“It wasn’t easy getting where you needed to go,” he said, referring to the district’s budget cutting days a few years ago. “Keep doing what you’re doing... The community out to be proud.”

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