Pell City BOE in good standing with audit
by David Atchison
Apr 04, 2011 | 1914 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Pell City Board of Education received a thumbs-up on its recent audit.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” said Dr. Bobby Hathcock, superintendent of Pell City schools. “It makes me feel good that we’re good stewards of the tax payers’ money. We’re spending where it needs to go, and we can account for all the money that comes in here, so we’re awful proud of that.”

Steve Moore with Potter, Bryant, & Moore, P.C., the certified public accounting firm that conducted the audit for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010, said they found no material weaknesses during their audit of the Pell City Board of Education.

A material weakness is a significant deficiency, or combination of significant deficiencies, that results in more than a remote likelihood that a material misstatement of financial statements will not be prevented or detected through internal controls.

“We did not identify any deficiencies in internal control over compliance that we consider to be material weaknesses,” Moore said. “Overall, this is the kind of report we like to present.”

He said the board basically operated as a “break even” year, “which is very good with this economy.”

The recent audit noted that the total revenues exceeded the projected revenues budgeted by $187,000.

“This is mainly due to the additional half-cent sales tax, which was enacted late in the fiscal year…” the audit report states. “Governor Bob Riley also declared an additional two percent proration in September 2010…”

The report states that state revenues were reduced to reflect seven and one half percent proration declared in October 2009. Local revenues were increased to reflect the additional sales tax proceeds.

Last year the City Council approved a one-cent sales tax increase, which the school system receives half of for four years.

The report states that the total expenditures were below the projected budget by $104,000.

“This is mainly due to cost reduction efforts put in place due to proration and the utilization of ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds,” the report states.

The depreciable capital assets increased by a net of $23,000, which included the purchase of a maintenance truck for the transportation department, an oven for Iola Roberts Elementary School lunchroom and a fire alarm replacement system at the high school.

“The total cost of the Board’s programs for the year was $35.6 million,” the audit report states. “After taking away the portion of these cost paid for with program revenues…the net cost that required funding from Pell City taxpayers was $7.82 million. The state’s Foundation Program provided $16.9 million towards the cost of programs. The Foundation Program requires a 10-mill equivalency local match that is derived from locally collected ad valorem and sales taxes. This amount for the year was $2.21 million.”

Tanya Holcombe, the chief financial officer for the school system, said Friday the school system ended last fiscal year in the black with the general fund revenues exceeding expenses.

She said it is recommended that a school system has enough money in reserve to cover one month of expenses, which is about $2.4 million for the Pell City school system.

Holcombe said the Pell City school system is one of about 60 school systems of the state’s total 132 systems, which do not have the recommended reserve in the general fund account.

However, she said, the ending general fund balanced for the Pell City school system increased by about $123,000 from the year before.

Hathcock publicly recognized Holcombe for her work with keeping the system financially straight.

“Tanya, I like to thank you personally and the business office,” he said during the March Board of Education meeting.

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com.

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