2012-11-15 / Front Page

Positive audit report presented to HLCS

By Cheryl Holladay

The Houghton Lake Community Schools Board of Education Monday received its audit report for the year ending June 30.

Kris Dezelski, C.P.A., of Maner Costerisan, PC, Lansing, presented the report, which he said was a “clean, unqualified opinion.”

For fiscal year 2011-12, the district was “2% better than budget,” he said, overall. Even considering a loss of 45 students from 2010 to 2011, revenues were up by $50,000 and expenditures were under by $228,000. The fund balance as of June 30, 2012, was $3.1 million.

While the board strives to maintain a fund balance of 12%, it is currently 22%, he said.

The QZAB (Qualified Zone Academy Bond) money, $1 million, will not be due until 2021, Dezelski said (the last of the bond funds was used for science lab improvements). Other noteworthy items included an increase in retirement contributions to 25% (which has risen steadily since 2010) and a reporting change required by GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) that will take effect in 2015.

Dezelski explained in the audit, Statement No. 68, as it is called, will require “governments that participate in defined benefit pension plans to report in their statement of net position a net pension liability.”

He said it will equate to about $11,000 per student, or about $17.5 million to the district, adding that there are some things in Lansing that will need to worked out in terms of how it will be calculated.

“It’s gonna be interesting to see how everybody handles it,” he said, adding Houghton Lake “is not going to be in a boat everybody else will not be in.”

When President Tom Dean asked how the district could prepare for the change, Dezelski said there is nothing immediate the board can do, except to know that it will “probably be the biggest number on your balance sheet.”

Dezelski also noted that the district will no longer receive $390,000 in Edu- Jobs funding. Also, he said, the district should develop a disaster plan and an accounting manual. Business Manger Camie Hansen is working on such a manual and said the business office will switch software Friday, so the recovery process will change.

Superintendent Scott Dunsmore commended Hansen for a smooth audit.

On its action agenda, the board approved the audit report, 6-0 (member Paull Fry was absent).

The board also approved two selffunded programs reviewed at previous meetings, a bowling team and a dance club.

The bowling team, led by George Rieger and Bob Roberts, will follow Michigan High School Athletic Association guidelines.

Rieger said so far 26 students have signed up for the team and there has already been community support for team shirts.

“We’re ready to go,” he said.

Kayla Johns, leader of the dance club, said open practices have been held and 11 girls have consistently come to rehearsals and learned a full routine. The first performance is set for Nov. 30 at the first home girls basketball game.

The board also approved an increase in the number of days the district’s data manager, Jan Pendrys, will work. Categorical funds the district receives from the state “more than pays for” the increase in wages for Pendrys, who currently works three days a week as a PESG (Professional Educational Services Group) employee, Hansen said at a previous meeting. Categoricals are designated state aid funds for which the district qualifies, for example, transportation, which is based on the square mileage of the HLCS district.

The Second Chance Academy’s handbook was also approved.

Approved as part of the consent agenda was the hiring of Adam Goodwin as the varsity baseball coach and the call-back of Kelly Jock, Houghton Lake Middle School teacher’s aide, who had been laid off (she will replace Kathy Gardner, who retired). The consent agenda also included the resignation of varsity football coach John Fuller.

One of the action items was an expulsion of a student.

The board had met in closed session Monday before the regular meeting. On a motion by Vice-president Dave Johnson, the board approved the expulsion of the unnamed student.

In his superintendent’s report, Dunsmore announced that an anonymous donor had contributed $11,000 for the high school auditorium’s sound system.

“I’m very proud to be able to accept that,” Dunsmore said.

Secretary Merry Maiani also offered praise for fourth grade camp, which was held in October.

“It was just exciting to see,” she said.

Johnson also highlighted the recent trip some band students took to Central Michigan University for its annual Band-O-Rama.

“My whole family went,” he said, adding that three buses of people went to Mt. Pleasant. “It was really nice.”

Dunsmore congratulated newly elected board members, Becky Purvis and Jim Sutika. They won election Nov. 6 and will replace current members, Paull Fry and Merry Maiani.

“You have a lot of hard work ahead of you,” Dean said. “Congratulations.”

Maiani mentioned her concern that two new board members will be coming onto the board in the middle of the year as it relates to the board’s self-evaluation and the superintendent’s evaluation.

Dunsmore also reported that he had attended a Michigan Association of School Boards conference, adding that the district will begin the strategic planning process soon, perhaps in January.

He also reported there was an antibullying presentation which was “very informative.” During public comment, parent Terri Williams said she had attended a seminar Nov. 7 in Detroit, urging the board to act as a team.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” she said.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2012-11-15 digital edition


Do you agree with the President Trump’s plan to secure schools by arming teachers?